WV Rifle Range on Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area to Close Temporarily
West Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- The public rifle range at the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Berkeley County will be closed temporarily beginning on Friday, May 15, 2009. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has been made aware of a problem that involves bullets intermittently hitting a home approximately ¼-mile down range. The homeowner has noted that the house is not his primary residence, but expressed patient concern for public safety. Several bullets have been recovered from the homeowner’s property in recent years.
Bullets passing over the top of the range bunkers are usually the result of people shooting illegally placed targets on top of the bunkers instead of in front of them, or from rapid firing of semiautomatic rifles often resulting in rifle muzzles rising over a safe line of sight toward the bunkers. Legally posted range regulations clearly state that both of these activities are not to be practiced at the range.
Rich Rogers, District Wildlife Biologist for the Eastern Panhandle, has stated that the range will be closed until it can be realigned or moved to a different location.
“We realize that this is a great inconvenience to many shooters, but we simply must deal with this issue of public safety. I have spoken with an NRA representative and numerous other callers during the past week expressing concern over the range closing. All of them understand the serious nature of this situation and recognize the need for our agency to take this responsible action,” Rogers said.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources plans to initiate realignment and/or relocation of the range this summer.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
“We hope to have the public shooting range at Sleepy Creek WMA reopened by this fall,” noted Rogers. “This is a priority for our agency, given the number of shooters in the region.”
State Capitol Complex, Building 3
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Charleston, WV 25305-0060