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No, not that BLM. Today, we’re talking about the Bureau of Land Management. While there are certainly land managers who haven’t gotten along with the gun-owning conservative side of society, this recent story out of Arizona shows that there are people in the agency who are trying to do right by everyone.

When it comes to target shooting, the environmental issues associated with less responsible shooters can be very real. Going out and shooting at garbage instead of paper or steel can be fun, but it can get to the point where there are little pieces of computers, TV sets, malfunctioning printers (Office Space anyone?) and all manner of other toxic waste. Because of this, the agency has been dumb enough in the past to just prohibit shooting, with predictable results.

But, Arizona’s BLM managers seem to be wising up, realizing that giving people a safe place to shoot at steel targets means that people can still have fun and even train without degrading the land for future generations.

To do this required some experimenting and engineering. A maintenance worker with welding skills went through several designs before coming up with a decent steel target that could withstand the punishment everyone sends its way. After 12 redesigns, the agency came up with a chain system that lets some of the kinetic energy dissipate through movement. The targets are also built using AR500 hardened steel (so they don’t pit nearly as quickly) and are angled a bit to avoid sending fragments back at shooters.

The end result is a target that can stand up to months of abuse before needing to be replaced!

But, the agency also believes in “reduce, reuse, recycle.” The five months before replacement gets spent at the rifle range, but once the targets aren’t able to handle more rifle shooting, the agency moves the targets to the 200-yard range. Then, the targets get moved to a pistol range. Only then are they retired for good. So, this rotation ends up yielding years of useful life for shooters.

An Arizona BLM employee welds steel targets for a public range.

Live in the Phoenix Metro Area and want to check the site out for yourself? It’s located northwest of Phoenix near Lake Pleasant along highway 74 (the Morristown-New River Highway). There’s no fee to use the site, but hours are limited and only 50 people can use the site at a time. You cannot use your own targets here, but you may be able to find other nearby public lands to shoot at paper.

The site is one of several shooting sites near the Phoenix Metro Area. Some sites are steel-only like this one, but others allow you to bring your own targets as long as you clean up after yourself and don’t leave any trash behind, including paper and target frames. But, they know that not everyone will follow the rules, so volunteers come once a week to clean everything up, including steel cases, trash and anything else. Some volunteers even help weld up targets during the rest of the week.

If you’d like to help BLM keep these important sites open to the public and help protect public lands for future generations, be sure to reach out to the BLM Arizona office and offer to help!

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  1. We have a BLM range close by with four dedicated shooting bays. No steel targets though, and range is limited (mostly) to 100 yards because the back stop is a mountain. They have threatened to shut it down because of trash, but now volunteers and most of the shooters clean up after themselves. And it is free.

  2. I’m going to hazard a guess that funding from the Pittman-Robertson Act was involved. And not a damn duck to be shot on the place!

  3. Once the Big Guy at 1600 Pennsyltucky Avenue in DC finds out, these rational folks will be cashiered out of government service.

  4. If 90% of all government workers were this good, we wouldn’t have to fire the more than 2 million of them. Who are worthless trouble makers.

    • Unfortunately most government workers like that are considered troublemakers and are often targeted with silly forms of retaliation……..ask me how I know.

      • The BLM actually does this all over the west. I lived in South Dakota and the BLM worked with the state and the county to build a range. The state kicked in so state police could use it to qualify as well as game wardens. The county kicked in for county sherriffs and deputies to qualify and the BLM set it up so that regional FBI and US marshalls could use it as well as a local range club. It’s beautiful and everybody benefits with no downside.

  5. Responsible people see to it there is no trash etc. left behind after shooting, hunting, fishing, etc. For all others there are the $500 no littering/dumping fines.

  6. How good to see Joe Biden’s BLM is being so accommodating to shooters. It’s even more amazing to realize that if it wasn’t for the Obama/Biden administration in 2009 no one would be carrying guns on these land for any reason.

    I know it hurts to admit that the Obama/Biden administration did more to free up the right to bear arms in America than any Republican president ever, but it is a fact of history that you cannot deny.

    • “The only reason he signed it was to get spending bill through Congress, if I remember correctly“

      No, it was not a spending bill, that’s fake news. It was the CARD Act of 2009, a consumer protection bill that restricted the predatory lending practices of unscrupulous financial institutions.

      “Again. It’s always been legal to shoot, hunt and posess firearms on BLM property. As well as national forests, National Wildlife Management Areas, etc.”

      Nope, Ronald Reagan banned possession of firearms on most federally managed public lands:

      “The policy was enhanced in 1983 to prohibit possessing, carrying, or using a firearm outside of certain approved areas and hunting seasons, with an exception for firearms kept in a car or mobile home “when such implements are rendered inoperable or packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.” The revision effectively mandated that visitors store their guns, unloaded, in a car trunk or equivalent while in a national park. After four months of public comment, President Ronald Reagan approved it.”

      You’re an intelligent gentleman, it’s so sad to see folks like you be seduced by decades of ‘conservative’ propaganda.

      • Are really so naive that you believe that CARD wasn’t a Democrat spending bill? Perhaps, you’re just stupid.

        • “Are really so naive that you believe that CARD wasn’t a Democrat spending bill? Perhaps, you’re just stupid“

          No, the difference is, I do the research and actually know what the bill says.

          Unlike you, who post vague claims, followed by personal insults.
          Really, is that all y’all got? Lame.

          The idea that you were ever a sworn LEO is a sad commentary on the quality and integrity of your state’s law enforcement establishment.

          “Key takeaways
          The CARD Act introduced important protections for credit card customers on matters such as interest rate changes, billing, fees and disclosures
          It also restricts card issuers from targeting consumers that are younger than 21 years old
          The Act doesn’t apply to businesses, and its protections only extend to consumers
          Fourteen years ago, President Barack Obama put his stamp on one of the most significant pieces of credit-related legislation to date. On May 22, 2009, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (known simply as the Credit CARD Act) was passed, becoming our country’s most robust revamp of credit card regulation ever.

          In hindsight, it’s easy to see why the Credit CARD Act was a necessity. At the time, the industry was on a dangerous path. Hidden fees, unpredictable interest rates and unsustainable promotions were leading to irreparable damage to the trust between credit card companies and their customers.“

  7. Miner, Obama choked on that. The only reason he signed it was to get spending bill through Congress, if I remember correctly. Of course, you’re wrong anyway. Again. It’s always been legal to shoot, hunt and posess firearms on BLM property. As well as national forests, National Wildlife Management Areas, etc. What Obama did was make it legal to carry a concealed firearm in a national park. It’s been a few years, but that’s my recollection.

    • “he signed it“

      Yep, that’s the pertinent point.
      Obama signed it, extending gun rights onto millions of acres of federally-managed taxpayer-owned land.

      After Republican President Ronald Reagan had banned the possession and carry of firearms, and after Republican Presidents George HW Bush and George W bush had failed to recognize those freedoms for decades.

      • Miner, I fail to understand your point. Your record has clearly established that you despise the Second Amendment. As does Obama and his disciples. Did that one hit close to home? Anyway, as I said he wanted something bigger and decided to throw the citizens a bone. I can see his logic. A few hundred people will be armed in national parks. In exchange he gets the rest of the bill. Not like he signed national resprosity, or anything. You’re as stupid as your little cartoon minion.

        • “Anyway, as I said he wanted something bigger and decided to throw the citizens a bone“

          “In exchange he gets the rest of the bill”

          So you’ve made the assertion, let’s hear your claim.

          Or it’s just more empty speech.

          So exactly what do you think “something bigger” was?


          “Not like he signed national resprosity, or anything“

          Who, Donald Trump and the Republicans when they held the presidency and both houses of Congress for two years in 2017–2019?

          Pathetic intentional ignorance.

  8. Never, never ever trust the BLM … I repeat “NEVER” …. always remember what they and their goose-stepping pals at the FBI & ATF did at Bundy Ranch and at Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Odds are they’ve installed surveillance cameras at/near all their ranges and are sharing “intelligence” with their fellow FEEBs in order to target and persecute Americans when the order comes down from D.C.

  9. Building ranges -> banning shooting everywhere but ranges -> closing ranges.

    They’re taking you for a ride.

  10. Not that BLM? Damn. I thought they were actually going to do something useful and were forming a popup target brigade.

  11. what is meant by
    “target shooters in arizona”
    theres roughly 45 target stores in arizona currently
    any national retail store chain
    that wants men in the womens restrooms
    is surely a gun free zone

  12. Does anyone know the outcome of the BLM shooting of a nurse on a UTV in June of2018?
    BLM has a history of targeting public land users.
    Senator Mike Lee called for an investigation of trigger happy Federal agencies, but….

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