I am a resident of the Columbia County and reside within the city limits of Magnolia, Arkansas. I use the firing range to zero my rifles both before and during deer seasons. While there I visit with others using the range who reside within Magnolia’s city limits as well as others who live in Columbia County but outside the city limits.
I have never observed any person who misused the range. However, I realize that stray bullets are dangerous and am thankful that during the many years in operation no adult nor child has been struck by a bullet fired at the range nor has any house been struck by the rounds.
Let us look at what will happen should the firing range be closed. All hunters, whether living inside or outside the city limits, will have to go out into the county to zero their weapons. In the county there are no high dirt banks to stop the fired rounds. Most targets will be attached to a tree no higher than one’s waist. I can only imagine how many houses will be struck by stray rounds. At my age I may not hear in the future of some child or adult being shot by a stray round, but you can rest assured it will happen. The way this old man sees it should Magnolia close the firing range it may eliminate one family’s problem but would create a far greater problem for all the residents living outside the city limits.
In this present time in which we are living out may not be possible for two governing bodies to work together for the common good of all citizens residing inside and outside the city limits of Magnolia. However, in my eighty-two years of living in Magnolia I have seen many times where both the City of Magnolia and Columbia County have worked side by side to solve a problem exiting for the common good for all residents of Columbia County. Lake Columbia is a good example of what happens by both bodies working together. Without the joint participation of Magnolia and Columbia County we would not have Lake Columbia.
The problem with the firing range could be a test case to see if it is still possible. Time will tell.
Rodney T. Chambers