The Range Task Force created to tackle safety issues at the Carson Rifle and Pistol Range held its first meeting on Thursday.
The group decided to hire an engineer to design needed upgrades to the range and, unless the engineer recommends otherwise, to start work on the bays, which are widely used by the public, gun clubs, and for firearm instruction, and also need the least work.
“They are closer to minimum standard. They’re the low-hanging fruit,” said Jennifer Budge, director, Parks, Recreation and Open Space.
The city hired Tactical Services Group, a range consultant, which produced a 21-page report outlining where the facility falls short and making recommendations to bring it up to minimum safety standards. The report is available online at https://carson.org/home/showdocument?id=64466.
The range is currently open only on Sundays when the city landfill next door is closed. The hours at the range were reduced last November after stray bullets were reported at the dump site.
Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who chairs the task force, said the city would ask the Nevada Department of Corrections if firearm instructors could use its shooting range off Snyder Avenue on Saturdays after people spoke during public comment saying instructors were losing business because of the reduced hours.
“By taking this away you’re telling us to find another way to protect ourselves,” said Kristy Scott, owner, Battle Born Ammunitions & Firearms, who’s currently teaching a Saturday class for women who are under deadline to complete it.
A couple people speaking during public comment asked if the landfill could reduce its hours on Saturday so the range could open.
“We looked at it, but we are under contractual obligation with Waste Management,” the city’s waste collector, said Supervisor Brad Bonkowski, who’s also on the task force. “Then we’d have to pay for Waste Management to take their trucks to Fernley or Lockwood.”
The task force also appointed leaders to take charge of researching certain issues, including Sean Giurlani to look at operations at the range, Bob Blackburn to look into the range long-term, and Carol Howell to work on signage for the site.
The range is currently operated by the Carson Rifle and Pistol Club, whose long-term agreement with the city expires in April.
Bagwell and Bonkowski both addressed rumors circulating about the range, most claiming the city wants to close the range.
“Somebody said rumors are flying about a development going in there or the landfill. Neither are true,” said Bonkowski. “We need to put those down because they are not true.”
“We’re looking for your help to solve this issue,” she said. “I can assure you that the board, by forming this task force, is showing commitment to the rifle range. We need to do some safety improvements.”
In addition to Bagwell and Bonkowski, who both use the range, the task force includes five members, each appointed by a Carson City supervisor; a businessperson; and representatives from the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and the Carson Rifle and Pistol Club.
The task force’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 14 at 1 p.m.