West Virginia: Closure of Public Range Opens the Door For Private Enterprise

Private ranges step in when public range closes.
Private ranges step in when public range closes.

In 2009, a very popular public shooting range within the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA), near Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, was closed over safety concerns.  That left a lot of shooters without a place to shoot.  Until, that is, three new, privately owned ranges opened nearby.

When the Sleepy Creek range was closed, “Initially, state officials said the shooting range would be relocated elsewhere in the WMA,” the State Journal reported.  “But local business owners announced they wanted to take a shot at accommodating gun-lovers’ needs.”

“What we saw happen was that private enterprise stepped in to meet the demand,” explained Larry Hines, wildlife manager at Sleepy Creek WMA.

The three ranges — Peacemaker National Training Center, Valley Guns II, and Tango Down Range — appeared to meet that demand.

“Each is unique and will appeal to different clientele,” said Hines.   “Now with these new ranges, we’re going to see the area continue to be a destination for sportsmen. It’s actually going to grow because these
new ranges are offering all kinds of classes, services and facilities that we never could as a public range.”

SOURCE:  New WV ranges, The State Journal 9/13/11

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  1. It is great that commercial interests have stepped in to fill a void but for those of us on a fixed income loosing a public range is more than just an inconvenience, it the difference between shooting a couple times a month and shooting a couple times a year.


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