Basalt Shooting Range Should Remain Open
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Why the Basalt Shooting Range Should Remain Open:
The following undersigned support the Basalt Shooting Range remaining open and urge all appropriate authorities and the public to work together to address any issues which arise out of the investigation of the fire, and address those issues to the satisfaction of the Basalt Community.
Some of the reasons the Basalt Shooting Range should remain open:
Ø Community Safety. If the range is closed, shooters will disperse onto public lands to discharge firearms which will result in unsafe conditions for other users(bikers, hikers, and fishermen), discarded targets/ trash, and additional fire hazards
Ø Hunters need a safe location to zero their firearms prior to commencement of hunting seasons
Ø The Basalt shooting range has provided gun safety training to thousands of private citizens, particularly youth organizations like the Boy Scouts and 4H Clubs
Ø The range provides economic benefits to local businesses that provide services to range users: ie, supplies, food, gas, vehicle repairs, lodging
Ø The range has served as a firearms training facility for the Basalt police department, and other law enforcement agencies
Ø Outfitters pay annual fees to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for use of the range for firearms training purposes
Ø The Basalt range has served as a training site for competitive shooters that have brought notoriety to the region/state
Ø There is currently no reasonable alternative to the range. In any case that will take a long time to put into place. If there is an alternative, the range should stay open until that alternative is available.
Ø The range is not unsafe. If used properly it will not cause fires. The safety can be enhanced with appropriate physical changes as well and providing full time range officer supervision. There are plenty of ranges around the country which are proximate to built up areas and appropriate safeguards have been developed to manage them. If the safety issue can be resolved to reasonable satisfaction for the majority of the public, the opposition will have to admit that they are not concerned with safety. They just want the range removed. There is nothing which will satisfy them.
Ø The range is part of the cultural heritage of Basalt. It has been here longer than most residents and constitutes part of the history of the town and the Valley.
Ø The range has proven to be a destination venue for charitable events which provide outdoor activities to disabled veterans. It is part of the therapy programs for disabled veterans where different disabled veterans organizations come to Basalt to both fish and shoot.
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