By LISA MACNEIL
The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) again discussed the addition of a public gun range at the regular meeting on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Economic Development Manager Valerie Pianta presented to the board the evaluation list that will be used by the FWC, which includes having ‘high and dry’ land available with nothing surrounding it, and a 3-mile backstop. The county would also have to show that such a range would be self-sustaining and that at least 150,000 shooters would live within a 30 minute drive of its location. The next funding cycle will be in 2024 or 2025.
It was not known during the meeting how the number of shooters would be ascertained.
Another important consideration is the proximity of other shooting ranges, “to not compete with something that’s already existing,” Pianta explained.
Commissioner Steve Champion commented that Hernando Sportsman’s Club is a non-profit entity, therefore not a competitor with the projected range. There is a range with a for-profit model in the county, however it is an indoor range which prohibits long guns. Champion speculated that suitable land would most likely be found in the northern or eastern part of the county, or near the Hernando Sportsman’s Club -- perhaps forming a partnership.
This item had previously been discussed on On June 11, 2019, when staff was directed to investigate the opportunity in conjunction with Pittman Robertson funds available through the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC).
The planning continues.