And while it is too early to discern whether those laws, particularly SB 1108, which makes it legal for citizens 21 and older to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, will make things more difficult or dangerous from a law enforcement standpoint, Arizona Game and Fish officials said shooting training is on the rise.
Ben Avery Shooting Range, which is on the border of north Peoria and Phoenix and is the largest outdoor range in the Valley and one of the largest in the country. It had perhaps its best statistical year ever in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, said Doug Burt, a public information officer for Arizona Game and Fish.
The range experienced more “shooting days,” which measure the number of individual visits to the range, not the number of different visitors, last fiscal year than any previous year. About 200,000 shooting days were recorded, marking a 5-10 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.
“That’s pretty significant. I know we’ve had some good years the last couple years at Ben Avery. Our shooting program has been growing,” Burt said.
Despite several new laws in Arizona that went into effect July 29, including SB 1108, range officials said they’ve seen little sign of drop-offs in shooting days at Ben Avery.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve seen an increase in people coming out here,” said Mike Morgan, a shooting instructor and range master with Game and Fish. “You’re still going to have people who realize they need to be knowledgeable. There are a lot of user groups who come and use the facility.”
And Morgan said shooting classes like Sure Shots, which began in January and takes place at Cabela’s in Glendale and at the range, are always being developed and introduced to increase interest.
Source: Erin Turner for Daily News-Sun.