Shooting ranges

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There are a variety of shooting ranges located throughout Minnesota. Each individual range will provide one or more of several opportunities for a shooter based on several variables. These include:

  • Size of range: how much land is controlled by 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 has 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 as the basis for interim Performance Standards, which provides detailed information about the various elements of a range that, when installed, can make a range technically safe and sound control-effective. Minnesota DNR will create 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.

Minnesota DNR has taken the initiative to create a comprehensive directory of shooting ranges, including firearm ranges, archery ranges, and shooting preserves. This resource is designed to 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 to find an appropriate, safe shooting venue. However, it's crucial to note that if you plan to visit a range, it's essential to make contact with its operators ahead of time. This will allow you to verify both the hours of operation and the type(s) of shooting venues offered, ensuring a satisfying and safe outing. Good luck, be safe and shoot straight.

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