Wake County leaders seeking deal that would keep gun range open to public

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Wake County Board of Commissioners is working towards a deal with the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission that could keep the Wake County Firearms Training Center open to the public.

“Good luck to them,” said Fred Stough. “If they want to start over again, that’s great.”

Stough, Range Safety Management operator, reacted after the Wake County Board of Commissioners decided to let the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission take over day-to-day operations at the county firing range.

“If they think they can do it without us that’s fine,” said Stough.

During a presentation to the board, Wake County staff outlined declining revenues and inconsistent fees charged at the range as their reasons for moving on from Stough’s company.

“They didn’t clarify that the inconsistencies were with the Sheriff’s Department and how they charged other law enforcement agencies,” said Stough.

Stough says there’s a larger issue causing the range to lose money in three consecutive years.

“The Trump effect,” said Stough. “Before that, the range was going wide open because there was fear that the Democrats were going to take away guns.”

Now, it’s up to the Wildlife Resource Commission to try and turn things around.

“The Wildlife Commission seems to be a natural thing,” said Stough. “Somebody needs to know about running a range before they oversee a range.”

“Our shooting ranges that we operate are always free to the public, so that’s our goal in this partnership,” said Kyle Briggs of the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission.

“They may be starting over from scratch, and I don’t know how that’s going to work,” said Stough.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners still has to approve the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission as the operator of the range.

If that approval is given, the range could reopen to the public within 60 days.

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