- Associated Press - Sunday, March 1, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering grants to groups that manage shooting ranges.

The goal of the grant program is to create more access to safe places to shoot.

Shooting clubs, sportsmen’s groups and government agencies that operate shooting ranges, including archery ranges, have until May 15 to submit applications.

The Shooting Range Improvement Grant Program was developed last year.

Commissioner Louis Porter says increased range opportunities encourage hunters to become more proficient with firearms while promoting the safe handling of firearms.

Examples of projects that could be eligible for funding include shooting range re-development, noise abatement structures, safety berms, shooting pads and stations, and the construction of - or improvement to - access roads and parking lots.

The department expects to distribute $30,000 in grants.

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