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I received this information in an email from Shotgun Sports Magazine production manager Linda Martin this evening:

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Minnesota DNR Searching for Shooting Complex

from Whitetail Journal

The Minnesota state Department of Natural Resources is searching for
more than 500 acres to build a huge shooting range complex. The $22
million complex would include rifle and pistol ranges, 30 trap
fields, 10 skeet fields, an archery range and a campground.

The DNR's Dave Schad says the complex will likely host national
shooting competitions. The agency is inviting cities, counties and
towns in the metro area to offer possible sites by Sept. 7.

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Neil, any word of this "on the street?"

ED
 

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Ed, It's been talked about for at least 5 years now. Our recently retired MTA Pres, Mark Zauhar, has been very active in promoting/working on it. The early talk was that it would be built at Rosemount and all that was needed was the funding. I was surprised to see they are now looking for a site. Apparently they are back to square 1 since they don't have a site and they sure as hell don't have the funding. With the state's current financial condition, I wouldn't expect funding anytime soon. Education has taken it in the shorts from the last several sessions of the legislature as well as local gov't aid and a lot of welfare programs. You can guess where this project would rank when those "essentials" have been taking a beating.
 

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Since when did a government need money to build something that looks like they're doing good work for the public?

My money is on it getting built if you talk to an incumbent, they need votes and this is what politition on the ropes will say at election time.
 

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The fastest growing segments of shooting sports in MN is pistol shooting and the proposal is to have 5 positions on the pistol range. WOW I hope the article I read was incorrect.

Bob
 

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This project is in it's early stages. It started about three years ago when I had a conversation about such a range with Rep. David Dill from Crane Lake Minnesota. The idea was to build a multi-purpose range in the Twin Citys Metro area that would handle not only the Minnesota State Trap shoot but be able to cover similiar activities for the other shotgun sports as well as rifle and pistol shooting. The concept was the state and possible other sources would finance the construction and a not for profit, tax exempt organization would be established to manage and operate the facility without use of further state money after the construction was complete. The facility would be located in the metro area to insure that a place for metro area youth would always be available to allow them to complete their firearms safety training and have a place to continue to shoot. Representative Dill was able to get a funding bill passed for a feasibilty study to determine what this facility might look like and have the DNR determine the interest in it. The newspaper articles mentioned here were the result of the DNR asking area cities and counties if they might have an interest in such a range. If a site can be determined, the legislature would have to take up the issue of funding when they do their next bonding in 2012.

The initial study determined a facility with 30 trap fields, 10 skeet fields, 10 sporting clay loops, an outdoor rifle and pistol range, a walk through archery and static archery range, as well as a 12 staion, 50 meter indoor rifle and pistol range. Also included would be 230 RV spots and supporting ammenities. The rifle ranges would include up to 300 yards and the pistol would have more then a dozen. Also included and probably the most important item would be classroom area to facilitate the youth firarm safety training.

The most important question is will it come to fruition??? Well, obviously alot needs to happen befroe we fire the first round at this site and the first firearm safety class opens. The plan is not without flaws. It's also not without opposition either. As pointed out in the above threads, not everyone is in favor. The article cited by Trap4ever was a partially accurate one that included a negative comment from one of our metro area anti-gun crowd as Trap4ever was careful to quote. None of us expect this to pass without a fight. There is a better summary of the project on page three of the Outdoor News paper, August 20 edition, www.outdoornews.com/minnesota.

I would be happy to answer any questions anyone may have directly or on this site. You can email at the above address. I hope instead of picking at minor points we each may not like about such a proposal, we recognize instead that such a facility, even if it does not have everything an individual may want, would be such an asset to the shooting sports and youth shooters in Minnesota, that we get behind it and make it happen. We have the right to carry in Minnesota and in forty plus other states and whoever thought that would happen. We must remember, that the range would not be static going forward. The advantage of the range being run by a separate not for profit is we would be able to fund raise to add new features as demand requires them. The tax exempt status would make significant fund raising much easier.

And don't forget to thank Minnesota Rep. Dave Dill when you see him. The right to carry, the range preservation law, and the recent right to carry an uncased gun in a motor vehicle was all his work. Let's hope he get help us make this range happen.

Mark Zauhar
 

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The other thing that the opponents will push is the existence of the Minnesota Shooting Sports Education Center in Grand Rapids. They will say "why, when there already is one". The only problem with it is because of its location (not close to a large population) its use is minimal.
 

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Actually, I hear the Sports Education Center was closed recently. It was located three hours from the metro area and in an area where access to shooting venues is not a problem. It was built and operated by the state in an area that did not need it. It was also limited, I believe, to indoor pistol shooting. It is what happens when you have a governor that wants to do something for his home area.

The good thing is, it does set a precendent in Minnesota for the state funding a shooting range.

Mark Zauhar
 

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Don't know. The University "gave" part of the old arms plant site to the state in exchange for the new football stadium money. They apparently retain some say in how this "gift" land is to be used. They want to eventually develope their remaining property but are now in a battle to do a gravel pit first. I would guess it would be easier to get another site for the shooting facility with all the government entities involved in this University property. It would be a great location though. It was my first suggestion to Mr. Dill when we first spoke. There is already a rifle club on the gifted land.

Mark Zauhar
 
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