Feb 10, 2009

Handgun, rifle range coming soon

by Kerrah Kemmerer

For students who enjoy peering through the scope of a rifle during hunting season or who desire to improve their shooting technique with handguns, there is now an opportunity to sharpen their skills. Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. announced this week in convocation that students would now have access to Liberty’s firearm ranges.

The ranges, which are predominantly used to train Liberty’s police officers, are located on Gun Range Road across from the Liberty village. They cover about five acres of land combined. One range will be used for shooting handguns, and the other will be for rifle use, according to
Lee Beaumont, director of auxiliary services.

On-campus students will be required to store their weapons with the Liberty University Police Department (LUPD). Commuters are permitted to keep their firearms, but they must be unloaded and kept in the trunk of their vehicle, according to the Liberty Journal.

The issue of safety is crucial for this new student activity. A mandatory safety course will be held on Feb. 20 from 6-10 p.m. On site training will take place Feb. 21. Additional courses will be scheduled as needed.
“No one will have access to the range without the safety course,” Beaumont said.

“There will be a fully-trained LUPD officer there during the shooting times, and there are going to be a number of rules that need to be followed. When you are dealing with firearms it is imperative to have safety protocols and require participants to follow those protocols.”
Disciplinary action will be taken against students who do not follow the rules implemented by the university.

Individuals who are found with a firearm on university property and off-campus students with improperly stored firearms will face LUPD disciplinary protocol, according to the Liberty Journal.

For approved participants, the ranges will be available two days a week from 1p.m. to dusk. A maximum of five students will be permitted on the shooting line at a given time. Additional shooting times will be added as demand increases.

Liberty will provide targets such as bull’s-eyes and silhouettes, but students will be responsible for providing their own weapons and ammunition, according to Beaumont.

Access to the range can be arranged by signing up by phone, e-mail or in person at the LUPD office on North Campus. Requests must be made 24 hours in advance. The supervisor will be on site for safety measures as well as to assist students with shooting technique, according to Beaumont. All participating students must be members of the Liberty Gun Club.

Contact Kerrah Kemmerer at
kkemmerer@liberty.edu.


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