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Push for indoor gun range facilities in Bonneville County

Local push for indoor gun ranges amid legislation

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Last week, U.S. senator for Idaho Jim Risch became part of a bi-partisan plan to create safe public shooting ranges and promote gun safety.

Locally, several groups have initiated a push for indoor gun range facilities in Bonneville County.

"About a year ago I drove up into the foothills east of Idaho Falls to just do some shooting," said Shawn Clements of Bonneville County. "A stray round from somebody else shooting came out and hit my windshield."

Clements remembers his brush with death vividly. In case he ever forgets the horrifying episode, he has photographs of the damage to his windshield.

Staring death in the face only made Clements more passionate about opening a safe, controlled indoor gun range in Bonneville County.

"A safe and comfortable and environmentally concious area to shoot," he said.

Clements has a Facebook page for the project, and he's proposed the idea to the Ammon city council.

But he's not the only one with the idea for an indoor range. Another group presented their plans for a similar project to the Idaho Falls planning commission in a meeting last week.

"There's definitely a need," said Clements.
Right now, scores of eastern Idahoans use public land to shoot -- it's an uncontrolled environment, and sportsmen like Clements insist it can be dangerous.

Conditions like wind and dry brush can be a recipe for fire. But as it stands, there's really no recipe for a city to regulate an indoor range.

That was the struggle planning commissioners faced last week in Idaho Falls when a citizen asked to rezone an industrial use area of town on Crane Drive for shooting range use.

Right now there are industry guidelines for indoor range facilities -- but nothing at the state or municipal level. That's something Clements said he hopes will change with proposed legislation.

"What I'd like to see is a list of the requirements a range would be required to have," said Clements.

The legislation proposed by Sen. Risch is called The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. It is co-sponsored by Risch and Colorado democrat Mark Udall.

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