Friday, June 03, 2005

New Farragut Shooting Range

The following is a guest publication, written by Tim Jones, on behalf of C.A.R.E.

Citizens Against Range Expansion

Farragut Shooting Range Q and A

Q. Fish and Game seem to be doing a good job providing the area with a needed facility. Why are you against shooters having a safe place to shoot?

A. We’re all for safe places to shoot. The NRA identifies 15 such facilities within a 50-mile radius of Coeur d’Alene. Yet Fish and Game didn’t bother to survey any of them for usage rates before designing the expanded facility in Farragut. While we understand that an expanding population is putting pressure on shooting ranges (primarily because of noise), putting a noisy one in Farragut State Park is not a reasonable solution.

Q. Fish and Game say the new range will actually be quieter than the old range. Why on earth would you object to that?

A. Of the many half-truths employed by Fish and Game, this is one of the dirtiest. They arrive at this absurd claim by referring to a planned curtailment of shooting hours available compared to the shooting hours available now. Of course, they are actively promoting the new range for competition and making access much easier. This will certainly lead to a vast increase in the number of bullets fired, therefore an INCREASE in noise.

Q. But Fish and Game say they have noise abatement plans. Won’t these take care of any additional noise?

A. What plans, exactly? Ask Fish and Game to show you their acoustical engineering plan. They don’t have one. Their design contains NO acoustical engineering. Any noise abatement plan they claim is simply an empty promise, with no basis in science.

Q. And how are you in a position to criticize?

A. Well, unlike F&G, who have yet to plan a proper sound test, we know the noise will be massive. On April 23, 2005, C.A.R.E. conducted a bona fide sound emission study at the range under the direction of a qualified acoustics engineer. His final report is pending, but preliminary results show clearly that noise from the range far exceeds any reasonable standard. Effective abatement to acceptable levels would likely be very expensive.

Q. Fish and Game says they’re just making “improvements” and “safety enhancements” to an existing range, not an “expansion.” What’s wrong with that?

A. $3.6 million, parking for 400 cars, accommodations for 130 simultaneous shooters, a 600 yard high-power range, a skeet range and Cowboy Action Shooting goes far beyond these terms. This is an expansion on an enormous scale, but Fish and Game knows that term sets off alarm bells.

Q. I’ve heard that C.A.R.E. is an anti-gun organization. Is that true?

A. Absolutely not. We support the letter and intent of the second amendment. Many of us own guns and use them regularly. Some people who want the range to be expanded try to characterize us as anti-gun because they have little to offer in its support. We are not against guns. We ARE against Fish and Game sidestepping every reasonable safeguard and shoving this range down our throats.

For more information, please call (208) 683-3736

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