NEWTOWN, Conn –-(Ammoland.com)- By all estimates, there are more firearms owners in America today than ever before, and they need quality ranges at which to shoot for fun, in competition and to hone their skills.
They also need to be reminded that top-notch shooting facilities are located near them that can accommodate both experienced and novice participants.
Recognizing these needs, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade associations for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, has awarded $399,456 in grants to 16 shooting ranges to develop programs that will put more people on the firing line.
The NSSF Range Grant Program assists qualifying shooting ranges in their efforts to introduce newcomers, re-activate lapsed shooters and encourage active shooters to, say, put down their shotgun for a while and give action pistol shooting a try, or learn about an exciting new game like 3-gun competition.
Deep River Sporting Clays in Sanford, N.C., received a grant, for example, to grow its “Give Shooting a Shot” youth program, which expects to attract 1,000 new shooters and retain 40 percent of them as active participants.
NSSF received 79 proposals in all–15 more than last year and a new high for the program. Lauched in 2008, the NSSF Range Grant Program has awarded funding to 62 ranges totaling $1.57 million to date.
“Nearly all the projects funded by the NSSF Range Grant Program emphasize outreach to the community, reminding residents that target shooting is fun and social and that participating is easy to do at a nearby range,” said Melissa Schilling, NSSF's director of recruitment and retention.
Projects such as physical improvements to facilities that are not essential to the operation of the range are not eligible for grants.
Schilling explained that a priority of program is to highlight “models of success,” so that grant-assisted initiatives that have been successful at the piloting range can be adopted by other facilities to build more participation, customers and profits. Case studies of programs that have received funding in prior years are available for review at www.nssf.org/shooting/grants.
Shooting facilities receiving NSSF range grants for 2012 are:
- North Mountain Sportsmen's Association, Hughesville, Penn.
- Targething Pro Shop, Garrettsville, Ohio
- Deep River Sporting Clays, Sanford, N.C.
- Lucerne Valley Lions Club Foundation, Lucerne Valley, Calif.
- A&S Indoor Pistol Range, Youngwood, Penn.
- Itasca Gun Club, Grand Rapids, Minn.
- Shooting Academy of South Texas, McAllen, Texas
- Otter Creek Hunting Club, Jerseyville, Ill.
- Cardinal Shooting Center, Columbus, Ohio
- Red Bluff Lodge, Allendale, S.C.
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Lansing, Mich.
- Shoot Smart Indoor Range & Training Center, Fort Worth, Texas
- Arizona Game & Fish Department, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Riverside Range, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
- Lead Valley Range, Deer Trail, Colo.
- Caswells Shooting Range, Mesa, Ariz.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 7,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.