By Greg Price
Slowly but surely, progress continues on the M.D. of Taber Shooting Complex.
“We have the applications for the three newest ranges (600, 200 and 50-metre) which are ready to go,” said Derrick Krizsan, municipal administrator for the M.D. of Taber.
“We got the final surveys (last Wednesday) and we are putting together the application to the Chief Firearms Officer.”
Fingers are crossed those ranges will be ready for the spring, but as the M.D. of Taber and the Taber Shooting Foundation are learning, the provisions for a shooting range can be quite strict.
“With RCMP range construction guidelines, there is a great deal of subjectivity and objective judgment that is left to the discretion of the CFO approval officers,” said Krizsan. “You could have two different officers with two different views.”
Since it became public knowledge that the M.D. of Taber was helping build the shooting range located 10 kilometres north on Highway 864, the M.D. has been contacted by a half dozen shooting clubs in Alberta who are having troubles getting re-certified.
“You are dealing with groups of people that by their very nature of belonging to clubs are intent on meeting the requirements of the law. Sometimes those requirements are not quite as clear as they could be,” said Krizsan. “I talked to someone from the Provost shooting range and they are having problems. Now they are going to have to build to the backstop berm sizes that we have built. It’s going to be a considerable amount of money and they have said there is literally nothing within 10 miles of (them). They are in the bush. There are some challenges.”
But whatever the challenges, M.D. of Taber Reeve Brian Brewin added the shooting range is something that is needed in the area.
“People love to go out and sight their rifles and shoot their rifles and get ready for hunting season,” said Brewin. “If they are not doing it there (at the shooting range), unfortunately they are doing it out on the prairie or at our signs or a gravel pit somewhere.”
For those wanting to fine tune their guns, the Taber Shooting Foundation is offering a free sight in for guns on Saturday to help calibrate your firearm. With free admission, the public is welcome on the M.D. of Taber Shooting Complex on Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., where shooting foundation members will give pointers about people’s firearms.
“As I’ve learned from other people who have gone through these free sight-in days at the Lethbridge range, there are a larger number of new shooters who are not familiar with how to properly sight-in rifles,” said Morgan Rockenbach, president of the Taber Shooting Foundation, adding, people are welcome to see the progress that has been made on the range to date.
“We will be offering this for new shooters and anyone else that wants to check their rifles before hunting season.”