Published Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009 | 4:10 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009 | 6:08 p.m.
Clark County Shooting Park
Address: 11357 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89124
- Dec. 19 and 20, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Dec. 26 and 27, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Jan. 2 and 3, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins and state Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, fired the first shots Saturday at the new Clark County Shooting Park.
The new facility, which is on the northern edge of the valley, has multiple ranges for different kinds of weapons: rifle, shotgun, pistol and bow and arrow.
According to Don Turner, the park’s manager, the facility fills a gaping hole in the county, where 45 percent of residents own a gun but there was no public shooting range.
“So they are going out in the desert and because the population was growing it was causing environmental problems and safety problems,” he said. “There’s not many basketball players in town, but we have basketball courts, so it was just a natural thing to have a safe facility for people to come.”
Lee said he was excited about the benefits the park will have for people who enjoy the outdoors, but don’t necessarily use firearms.
“We’re cleaning up the deserts to have a place where people can go out and mountain bike and hike and not have the threat of an errant shot,” he said.
And the benefits to shooters will be tremendous as well, the state senator said.
“Today feels like the start of legitimizing shooting again. People can actually come somewhere and enjoy the sport and not have people look at them and be offended,” he said. “This is a place where people can come and this sport can thrive. It’s a rebirth of the sport in the valley.”
Collins seemed to greatly enjoy using his guns at the new range and happily passed the firearms to others and showed them how to use it.
He said the shooting park will be another one of the many reasons Las Vegas is a popular place for people to come visit.
“We have this opportunity for so many people, not just in Southern Nevada, but from throughout the nation and the world to be able to come here to this facility,” he said. “This is going to be an enhancement to this community and a benefit for sportsmen throughout the country.”
Collins also couldn’t stop thanking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who helped pass legislation to fund the park and get the land transferred from the Bureau of Land Management to the county.
“People can come up here thanks to Senator Harry Reid for a nominal amount of money and can shoot and enjoy the recreation that’s affordable and available to folks in the West,” Collins said. “This is just a tremendous opportunity.”
Reid issued his own statement from Washington recognizing the opening of the park.
“This park is a symbol of the good things that are possible when Nevadans come together to solve problems,” he said. “Through the establishment of the Clark County Shooting Park, we have a state-of-the-art (facility) that will bring visitors from around the world, including military and law enforcement personnel.”
The park is now open for use on the weekends and will be open full-time beginning in January. The cost to use the park is $7 per day for rifles, pistols and archery and $6 per 25-bird round for shotguns.
What opened Saturday is just the first $61 million and 178-acres of the facility, which was funded by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.
In all, 2,900 acres of land were set aside for the shooting range.
The park is bordered on the east and north by a desert wildlife preserve and on the south by a wash, which ensures that the closest homes are more than a mile away from the shooting, Turner said.
Robert and Janet Combs, who own the R.C. Farms pig ranch in North Las Vegas, came to the opening.
They said items on their property have been hit many times by people who are out shooting in the desert.
“We get people who are not responsible or don’t care and shoot our property,” Robert Combs said.
They are happy the park provides an alternative for people who want to shoot.
“It teaches our kids to use these dangerous weapons responsibly,” Robert Combs said. “Any time it teaches the children responsibility, that helps us all.”
It also is on the land they have brought their family many times to explore and play, so they are happy to see it put to good use so everyone can enjoy it.
“We’re tickled to death to see his, I personally am,” Janet Combs said. “I expect to be a frequent user of it.”