A shooting range in Santa Clara?

Santa Clara City Hall building, Santa Clara Utah, April 23, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

SANTA CLARA — The city of Santa Clara is looking into the possibility of creating a shooting range or just a shooting area within city limits. The goal would be to funnel all of the current shooting activity west of town into one specific spot.

Currently the desert area west of the residential district of Santa Clara is scattered with several uncontrolled shooting sites. People aren’t cleaning up their sites, and gun activity is occurring close to other land use activities, Santa Clara Public Safety Director Robert Flowers told the City Council Wednesday night. The area has become a hazard, Flowers said.

“It’s a safety issue,” he said, “and it’s a quality of life issue.”

The area west of town is enjoyed by not just gun users but many others, such as hikers and bikers, council member Herb Basso said.

“I don’t think this is an issue between users or among users,” Basso said, “I think that everyone would agree that if we could have some more organization we would all use the land more safely.”

Flowers said that having a lot of land users in an area that’s uncontrolled – with several different gunfire locations – has become too dangerous. Something is going to have to be done, he said.

Flowers and several Santa Clara City staff members have already identified a spot that they believe could possibly become a suitable shooting site. It is isolated, down in a gully about 1 1/2 miles from town. In this gully, there is already an unofficial area where users have been parking and with some improvements, Flowers said, it could make a suitable range site.

Until now, the shooting range idea was just in its discussion phase, but Wednesday night, Santa Clara Mayor Rick Rosenberg moved it closer to reality by appointing an ad hoc committee to look into the matter further.

One of the committees tasks is to decide whether the city should create a traditional shooting range or just an area where people can go shoot. There is a difference in the two designations, Flowers said, and either designation would have different requirements.

“We just need an area that’s accessible to the public,” Flowers said.

Another of the committees significant tasks is to enter serious discussions with the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM manages this area of land and, in preliminary talks, has been open to the idea of a shooting range, Flowers said.

Council member Kenneth Sizemore said he also had preliminary conversations with BLM managers in which they brought up a number of possible hurdles for a project like this. Among other things, some of the possible issues of a concentrated shooting site were the possibility of lead contaminating the soil, the difficulty of policing the area, and the task of closing down the other shooting sites around the area.

“There’s still a lot of discussion that needs to happen,” Sizemore said.

The details of the project will be further discussed by the ad hoc Committee and subsequently brought before the Council.

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  • sagemoon April 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Having an area designated for shooting would be terrific!

  • Jacer April 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    In deciding whether the city should create a traditional shooting range or just an area where people can go shoot, It needs to be an “area where people can shoot”. When spending money to create a shooting “range” , monetary thinking comes in to play and too many greedy hands get into the pot. Fees are established, fines are given and people go find somewhere else to go shoot. As odd as this sounds, shooting is a past time just like four wheeling, golfing, swimming, flying, rock climbing, fishing and any other recreational activity. However, given the type of equipment used, it does warrant a designated area. But keep money out of it, or we will just go find somewhere else to shoot.

  • ricky April 25, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I have to agree it is not like there is a shortage of firing ranges, but people don’t want to have to pay for a place to go shoot some targets. They could build hundreds of them alk around town but if they alk charge they will not go there but will find somewhere else they can shoot for free. Hopefully they will keep that in mind while deciding what to do.

  • mater May 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    the shooting area that is taditionally used hes been there as long as i can remember and not until the blm started putting up fences and restricting access plus adding bike trails that run into the fireing area has it ever been a problem .

  • Shooter May 27, 2014 at 8:15 am

    With growth and more population – comes inconvenience – but it also brings new opportunities. Some of the activities of the past will need to be redirected to other locations – that’s just logical. At some point, shooting will need to be limited even further – it is just too dangerous in an area with a growing population. Our population doubles in the next 15 years – changes will be necessary.

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