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Pima County shooting ranges to close due to COVID-19

Pima County shooting ranges to close due to COVID-19

From the April's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 1,200+ Pima County cases, stay-home order extended series

Shooters take aim as a newly-installed wobble trap machine fires rounds of clay targets into the air at the Pima County Southeast Regional Park Clay Target Center in 2017.

Pima County announced Friday that it will close its shooting ranges for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak due to extreme staffing shortages.

Starting Monday, April 6, Pima County’s Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department will close the Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range, Southeast Archery Range, Southeast Clay Target Center and the Tucson Mountain Park Rifle and Pistol Range

As part of the county’s Shooting Sports Program, these ranges have a staff of rangemasters and volunteer line safety officers, many of whom are unable to be out in public for the duration of the pandemic.

According to Shooting Sports Program Director Cliff Gyves, these staff members are essential to range operations and cannot simply be replaced by other county staff due to the training that is required.

“The presence of qualified rangemasters and trained volunteers is essential to operating a safe shooting range, and without these individuals, we are unable to keep the ranges open,” said County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry in a April 3 memo.

In the meantime, unstaffed ranges such as the Virgil Ellis Rifle and Pistol Range in Ajo and the Tucson Mountain Park Archery Range will remain open.

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