You can talk about gun rights until you’re blue in the face. God knows we do. But at the end of the proverbial day, it’s boots on the ground that counts. The more people who own and shoot guns, the safer Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. As empty shelves and NICS numbers indicate, a lot of people are buying guns and ammo. As startribune.com reports, scarce range space is another indication that gun culture may be eating gun control strategy for lunch. “Minnesota’s growing legions of gun owners are increasingly packing gun ranges and triggering an intense demand for new ones. The heated debate over stricter gun regulations nationally fueled a dramatic spike in gun permits and firearm sales locally . . .
They’re competing for time at crowded metro ranges with a new generation of shooters who’ve helped make school target teams the fastest-growing sport in the state. That’s leaving people like Gary Morrison of Otsego and his teenage daughter, who is on a target shooting team, fed up with years of long drives and waits. So this month, he and his business partner, Steve Benoit, are starting construction on a new indoor gun range in Rogers . . .
But even with new places to shoot in the Twin Cities, some gun owners say it barely addresses the demand. At Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale this winter, people were waiting an average of 2½ hours for a lane.
“These ranges are overrun,” said Dave Larson of Plymouth, a DNR-certified gun safety instructor who fought for a new state law requiring police gun ranges to open for youth classes. “We continue to be short of ranges in the metro.”
It’s a pattern that’s being repeated around the country. And it’s not just about gun control legislation scaring people into trigger time. It’s about fun. As NPR postulated back in January, Are Shooting Ranges The New Bowling Alleys? Yes. Yes they are.
And here’s another data point: these crowded ranges would be even more crowded if not for the ammo shortage. People who can’t replenish their ammo supplies are shooting less. When the ammo’s available in greater quantities, range time will become even harder to find. Until it isn’t, when new ranges open up.
God bless America. And, I gotta say, Call of Duty.