Lawmakers table the idea of a shooting range outside of Rapid City

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:30 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The idea to build a shooting range on a plot of land outside of Rapid City is again just that, an idea.

Tuesday, South Dakota lawmakers met and voted against the construction of the gun range.

Game Fish and Parks argued in favor of the plan and its potentially positive economic impact.

On the other end, a handful of ranchers showed up to the committee hearing to plead their case against the plan.

“We listen to the Fish and Game pros and then it was our turn on the cons,” explained Rod Putnam, a ranch hand at the Norman Ranch.

The first opposition was noise.

Gun ranges create a lot of noise and that would affect the local livestock.

“Basically, they won’t use the grass in that area, they’re not going to want to use those pastures,” said Putnam and adding, neither would ranchers that are concerned for their safety.

“If people are shooting in an area, you’re not going to want to go out and gather cattle out of that area, also,” said Putnam.

The noise would have also affected the homeowners who were only a mile away from the proposed range.

“The next big fear or, I guess we’ll call it for out there, was fire. In dry conditions, with that going on, fire was a huge issue. Next, was probably lead pollution ... Traffic, that’s a rural area and they were predicting 100,000 vehicles a year coming into that gun range,” said Putnam.

He explains he doesn’t oppose a gun range just the location of this particular one. “It wasn’t the right place, we felt, to build a gun range.”

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