There are a variety of shooting ranges located throughout Minnesota. Each individual range will provide one or more of a number of opportunities for a shooter, based on a number of variables. These include:
- Size of range: how much land is under the control of the range operator?
- Types of shooting venues offered?
- Is it an indoor or outdoor range?
- Open to the public, or a private use-only range?
- Archery or firearms?
- If an outdoor firearms range, is it for rifle/pistol or the various shotgun sports?
- If an archery range, does it have a walking course, or is it a target line range?
- If it's a game preserve, does it also have a shooting range?
- Proximity to human population, and/or extensive residential development?
Since the 1970's Minnesota DNR has been working with shooting ranges, to one degree or another, helping to hold Firearm Safety classes, and to make ranges safer in their operation. Since 1999, a shooting range grant program (funded by the LCMR) has provided over $1.5 million in matching funds to Minnesota shooting ranges open for public use. Information regarding the Shooting Range Development and Rehabilitation grant program is accessible through this site. Since 1999, Minnesota DNR has provided over $1.5 million in matching funds to over 120 ranges throughout Minnesota.
The safe operation of all Minnesota outdoor archery and firearms ranges, as well as shooting preserves is intended to be addressed in the Shooting Range Protection Act, passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2005. This new law references the NRA Source Book (which can be purchased at: www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/sourcebook.asp) as the basis for interim Performance Standards, which provides detailed information about the various element of a range that, when installed, can make a range technically safe and sound control-effective. Minnesota DNR will be coming forth with permanent Performance Standards, through an expedited rulemaking process in 2006. Numerous questions regarding the new act have been directed to DNR since it became effective in May 2005. The Shooting Range Protection Act, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs, and a MN House Summary of the new law are included via this web page.
Minnesota DNR has also undertaken the creation of a directory of shooting ranges, including firearm ranges, archery ranges and shooting preserves. This effort is intended help direct shooters to venues they can use, whether the range is close to home or the hunting field. Shooters interested in recreational shooting, teaching youth, or, getting familiar with handling their firearms prior to hunting seasons can use the directory in order to find an appropriate, safe shooting venue. If you intend to visit a range, be sure to make contact with its operators ahead of time, to verify both hours of operation, and the type(s) of shooting venues offered, so that you can have a satisfying outing when you go. Good luck, be safe, and shoot straight.
Shooting range directory disclaimer: As with any directory, the shooting range directory is constantly in need of update. Informational updates can be sent to Chuck Niska, Shooting Range Coordinator, at: chuck.[email protected].