Indoor shooting range gets Red Deer County support

Red Deer Fish and Game Association hopes to reopen old shooting range in Springbrook

A proposal to reopen an indoor shooting range in Springbrook hit the mark with Red Deer County.

Council unanimously approved zoning changes required for the shooting range, which will be operated by Red Deer Fish and Game Association.

Built by the federal government for the military at CFB Penhold, the range is located in what is now Springbrook’s multiplex.

Fish and Game Association past-president Doug Wood said they went looking for a new range after the Red Deer Public School Division said it needed back the space used for a shooting range in a maintenance building next to the Memorial Centre.

The range, which has been used by shooters for decades, will be closed at the end of the year.

Wood said there is still a long road ahead to get all of the approvals necessary to reopen the Springbrook range.

A proposal must go to the province’s Chief Firearms Officer for approval.

The range must also be brought up to the latest standards, which will involve upgrades to the air quality system and sound insulation among other improvements. Fire department approval is also required before the range can be used again.

Wood said the range isn’t expected to be open until sometime next year.

Red Deer Airport manager of safety and security Graham St. Thomas said while they still have a few questions about the specifics of the proposal the airport is not opposed.

“I see no reason from the airport’s perspective that this cannot happen,” he told council council at a public hearing on Tuesday.

Coun. Philip Massier said the range will be good for the community.

It is expected the range will be well used by Fish and Game Association members and law enforcement, peace officer and security personnel, who are required to regularly maintain their firearms proficiency.

The Fish and Game Association also runs a popular local junior shooting program that has turned out about 125 competitive shooters since 2006.

Fish and Game Association current president Ricardo Marcil was pleased with council’s support.

“This has been a long time coming. It’s a benefit to Springbrook and it’s also a big benefit to the membership and (those) who wish to learn safety and the proper usage of firearms,” Marcil said.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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