- Associated Press - Saturday, August 19, 2017

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Big Island officials are moving forward with a plan to construct the island’s first gun-shooting range.

The county Game Management Advisory Commission voted on Wednesday to begin looking for sites, funding and public and private partners for a gun range, West Hawaii Today reported (https://bit.ly/2xe2fVr ).

Kohala Councilman Tim Richards and Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy co-sponsored the resolution on the grounds that law enforcement and constituents feel residents need a place to shoot. The commission backed those claims. The panel said there are 1.4 million people living in Hawaii with an estimated 1.2 million firearms, but most people can’t shoot because there are no ranges on the Big Island.

The resolution was unanimously approved.

Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara had concerns, however. “I fully support a public shooting range; I just want to be careful that it doesn’t become a county shooting range,” O’Hara said.



Richards said he believes memberships or fees could make the project self-sufficient. There are models of gun ranges that could be incorporated into the county plans, he said.

“We don’t have to recreate the model,” Richards said. “It could actually be a financial positive for the county, depending on the model.”

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, https://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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