With interest growing nationwide in target shooting and owning firearms for home and personal defense, the need for top-notch shooting ranges has never been greater, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Recognizing this, the NSSF has awarded $435,000 in grants to 22 ranges to develop programs that put more people on the firing line. The NSSF Range Grant Program assists qualifying shooting ranges in their efforts to introduce newcomers, re-activate lapsed shooters, encourage active shooters to try another shooting discipline, and that promote the enjoyment of the shooting sports to people of all ages.
Projects such as physical improvements to facilities not essential to the operation of the range are not eligible for grants. “We saw a lot of growth in the applications for range grants this year,” said Melissa Schilling, NSSF manager of recruitment and retention. “We believe range operators nationwide are beginning to understand what a great opportunity this is to help get an idea that will be good for their business and the shooting sports off the ground.”
NSSF received 64 proposals requesting $2.8 million in grants–an all-time high for the program. Lauched in 2008, the NSSF Range Grant Program has awarded funding to 46 ranges totaling $1.17 million to date. Schilling explained that a priority of program is to highlight “models of success,” so that grant-assisted initiatives that have been successful at the piloting range can be adopted by other facilities to build more participation, customers and profits.