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$10 Million Shooting Sports Complex One Step Closer As Bill Moves To Gordon’s Desk 

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By Mark Heinz, Outdoors Reporter

Those who argued that a $10 million dollar shooting sports complex would be a big shot in the arm for Wyoming tourism are closer to getting their wishes, as a bill that could lay the groundwork for the facility is headed for Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk. 

Senate File 169 passed concurrence, or final agreement between the Wyoming House and Senate, on Monday. 

It was signed by Senate President Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, before being passed forward to Gov. Mark Gordon. Gordon must now decide whether to sign it into law or reject it. 

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 29-2 on February 2, and the House passed it 51-11 on Friday. 

SF 169 calls for the appointment of a “State Shooting Complex Task Force”. That board, made up of several state officials and members of the public, would be charged with hammering out the size and scope of a vast shooting sports complex. The board could also take applications from municipalities across Wyoming, each explaining why their community would be the best location for the facility. 

Playing In The Big Leagues 

During previous discussions about the bill, proponents argued that the shooting complex could be a world-class class facility. That could draw national and international shooting tournaments – and big money – to Wyoming. 

They also argued that because of Wyoming’s reputation as a “Second Amendment-friendly state,” having a huge shooting sports complex here would draw many tourists, and possibly more firearms and firearms accessory manufacturing companies to the Cowboy State. 

Everything All In One Place 

One of the bill’s primary sponsors, Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, said during discussions over the bill that the shooting complex would be far more than just another target range. 

It could include indoor and outdoor ranges for the full spectrum of shooting sports, including extreme-distance rifle shooting, tactical ranges, pistol ranges and trap and skeet shooting ranges, he said. 

Top-notch archery target ranges could be included, as well as classroom space for hunter education and outdoors skills classes, he said. 

Who Pays For It, And How? 

The bill calls for $10 million to be set aside for the shooting complex, Hicks said. That would include $5 million from the state’s general fund, $2.5 million from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and $2.5 million from the Wyoming Office of Tourism.  

Officials from Game and Fish and the tourism office also expressed support for the bill. 

That $10 million would sit in a special fund, untouched unless and until plans for the shooting complex and its location come to fruition. And even then, the money couldn’t be released until the Legislature authorized it, Hicks said.  

In the longer term, maintenance and operations costs for the shooting complex would probably be shared by the municipality it’s built in and private business interests, Hicks said.  

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