Wake County sheriff addresses takeover of firearms training center

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker says he should have let county officials know about plans to close public access to the Wake County Firearms Training Center.

Baker’s decision has since been overruled.

Baker was responding Monday to comments by Wake County Manager David Ellis and Wake County Board of Commission Chair Greg Ford.

On Dec. 18, the sheriff’s office announced the cancellation of the contract with Range Safety Management LLC, effective January 15, due to RSM’s “lack of management profitability and intent to provide additional training space for law enforcement agencies.”

“While senior team members and I are surprised by the response from our County partners, we do acknowledge that while it is not a requirement to notify the County, we should have extended the courtesy to the County staff advising them of the specific date of the contract’s cancellation,” said Baker. “Similarly, the County should have extended me the courtesy of responding to me regarding my decision, to cancel the contract.”

Lack of profitability and inaccurate accounting are listed as the reasons behind the Wake County Sheriff’s Office’s decision to not renew a contract with a gun range.

The sheriff’s office said it let Range Safety Management know recently that their contract would not be renewed as it pertains to firearm training for citizens.

The sheriff’s office said some were “displeased” with the decision while others understood.

“To the responsible gun owners who use the facility, I understand your concern,” said Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker on Dec. 18. “This decision was not made in haste. We will continue to review how to use this training center that works in the best interest of all citizens, while saving taxpayer money. Unfortunately, the current agreement only met the needs of a few.”

As a result, community members started a petition to keep the range open to the public, garnering thousands of signatures.

County commissioners are expected to discuss the future of the shooting range on Jan. 6.

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