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Gun-friendly Utah is surprisingly queasy when it comes to the kinds of paper targets shooters are allowed to use on state-owned ranges. Well, one state agency is, anyway. Now a Beehive State legislator wants to know why. “’The range belongs to the people,’ Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, said. ‘We need to make sure that people are not restricted in their use because of an overstep of authority.'” Or an overabundance of political correctness . . .

It is not against state law for human form targets to be used inside the gun-friendly Beehive State, but Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources has had an unwritten policy in place that the targets are not to be used by the general public at the ranges. The human silhouette targets are allowed if the range is being rented out by a police force or a concealed weapons training class.

Just to be clear, it’s OK for cops to practice using targets that represent what they’ll most likely find themselves shooting at, but it’s somehow beyond the pale for Jane and Joe Schmoe to do the same when training to protect themselves and their families. OK, then.

Representatives with DWR explained that the ranges’ primary purposes are to promote hunter safety and that human form targets are not used in those courses as they felt the targets would be counterproductive to the course. DWR said they were open to discussion on finding a way for those who want to take aim at something other than a bullseye.

“Counterproductive,” huh? It all becomes a little clearer, doesn’t it? DWR’s bought into that whole ‘sporting purpose‘ thing. Next thing you know, they’ll prohibit, uh, assault rifles. Or as they’d probably call them, “terrorist rifles.”

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  1. When one becomes a bureaucrat, one is apparently required to check one’s brain at the entrance. Or at least abandon any common sense.

    Oh yeah – “You call that a group? That ain’t no group! That’s a pattern!”

    • Several states’ similar natural resources bureaus that run their ranges have this same policy.

      My state also has a “minimum 3 second pause between shots” rule. Ridiculous. So, I go elsewhere.

  2. Representatives with DWR explained that the ranges’ primary purposes are to promote hunter safety and that human form targets are not used in those courses as they felt the targets would be counterproductive to the course.

    Really? Last time I checked, the primary purpose of a shooting range was to practice shooting, which is only a small part of “hunter safety” IMO. What is not surprising is hte ignorance of our eleceted officials. What IS surprising is that they somehow continue to get elected.

    • As long as it’s not in Washington State – BF is protected by law. Yes, despite the anecdotal evidence that BF is real, the state passed a law banning the shooting/hurting/killing of a creature that *might* exist.

      • LOL! “No, Mr. Game Warden. I have no idea how that 8 foot tall, 600 lb. beast got that sucking chest wound. Why do you ask?”

      • Aren’t the liberals the ones that are pro “choice”?

        Anyway… by the definition of life the pro abortionists choicers use, a fetus should be Okay… after all, it isn’t a human life until it’s fully birthed.

        IMHO it is very bad form to do so.

    • Who knows. The ACLU seems to have it own motives, and it isn’t necessarily defending an individual’s Constitutional Rights. Sometimes it looks that way though, and other times it seems they argue against Constitutional Rights (or at the very least, the founding father’s definitions of those rights: inalienable, pre-existing, or created by the Constitution itself.)

  3. I’ve been a member of gun clubs that would not allow human shaped targets on the range. The reason I was given was that we didn’t want to look as if we were all practicing to be snipers and scare the neighbors, and that was years before 9-11.

  4. Most of the gun ranges in Maryland at least limit the targets you can use. They generally limit them to human silhouette no pictures of Real People. One range even limits head shots agaist the human silhouette targets. I agree the no headshots is kinda a load of crap but I can see why the ranges don’t want pictures of people. Just think about the hay that would be made if some anti found out about some Guy shoting pictures of his x-wife or x-girlfrend then went out and killed them.


    • They often do not allow head shots, because it puts your bullets too near their target hangers and framework. Fine if you’re a beginner who can’t make a tight group. Not fine if you’re a good shot. The problem is that the rule is the same for every shooter at every skill level.

      • My experience with the “no head shots” rule is much like my experience with the “no loaded weapons allowed inside” the gun shop rule. It’s for those who don’t know better. In the latter example, if you’re carrying concealed (and not bringing it in for sale/trade/service), and you keep it concealed, then the rule is not meant for you. With the “no head shots” rule, it’s designed to keep people off the target lines. As a general rule, if you’re making 2″ (or smaller) groups in the middle of the face, nobody’s gonna make a peep to you about the rule.

  5. Maybe the ultimate problem here is government owned public shooting ranges. The problem described above probably wouldn’t exist at a private range. If it did, shooters could make their displeasure known and take their business elsewhere. Perhaps the real solution is to close down the range and lay off the state employees who waste taxpayer money promulgating foolish regulations.

      • Fly in the ointment with that plan. The state closed a large public shooting area called Knoxville in California and private entreprise did not step in to fill the gap. We still have the same overpriced private ranges we had before and because Knoxville was free the private guys got more business and bucks with no need to provide better service.

        • Sorry, but Knoxville wasn’t “free” and it was obviously providing a service that the market didn’t want. Also, there’s not truly a free market if government still exists. You were paying for the operation of the range but it’s not like you get to keep your money now that it’s closed.

        • I get your point about Knoxville not being free because I pay taxes. But I’m still paying those taxes and now range fees to use private ranges.

          And Knoxville provided a service that was used by many. But the nanny staters closed it anyway.

  6. Just draw your favorite politicians face on the south end of a north bound horse and bang away!!!! Freedom of speech and all that!!!
    Oh wait…..then you would have the ACLU and PETA and The Secret Stasi Service after you and we all know they would not only imprison you but sue you for everything you have and will have!!!!!
    Welcome to life in “Modern Day America”!

    • I’m not sure you understand what the ACLU is or does. If a law were passed barring the use of human-shaped targets, the ACLU would be the first to file suit challenging it, since it violates the right to free speech/expression. They fight to protect civil liberties, and not just the ones you agree with.

      • So, and correct me if I’m wrong, why isn’t the aclu all over the civil rights violations that we gun owners have inflicted on us daily in California? Isn’t the 2a part of our civil liberties?

        • The ACLU has its own agenda and it doesn’t alway support the Constitution unless there’s something in it for them.

        • Well as long as they have such a large, and I feel intentional blind spot to these civil right violations they will get no support from me. Financial or moral.

        • That’s a good question, and I wish I had an answer for you. Perhaps it is just a blind spot on their radar, as suggested above. Or perhaps they’re not on solid legal ground to challenge it.

          In general, the ACLU often does controversial things, but for the benefit of our rights. For example, they fought for the rights of neo-nazis to march in a predominantly Jewish area. Most people don’t exactly want to help neo-nazis get their message out, but by securing their right to free speech, they are securing everybody’s. After all, it is unpopular speech that needs to be protected. By definition, popular speech is not not in danger of being suppressed.

          Or, for example, they’re challenging the government over the NSA’s unlimited collection of our communications. Despite the massive importance, nobody else wants to touch this for fear of being associated with bad guys. Still, they’re fighting.

          People don’t always agree with what they fight for, especially with polarizing topics such as abortion, but they do fight for our rights.

        • At this day and time I doubt the aclu has a blind spot on their radar about gun rights. And if upholding our 2a is on shaky legal ground I can’t imagine what supporting neo nazis is from a legal stand point. Willfull neglect of our civil rights gives the lie to the aclu’s claims of fighting for our rights. And until they maqke amends I will speak no good of them.

  7. “DWR said they were open to discussion on finding a way for those who want to take aim at something other than a bullseye.”

    Here’s a way: get your head out of your rectum and your nose out of people’s business.

  8. Remember a few yrs. ago there was a disgruntled hunter that started shooting other hunters, ithink because he felt it was too crowded? Could have been handy for other hunters to have had experience with human silloettes.

  9. Wait a minute…..
    What about pictures of fuzzy bunny’s? I mean really you can’t shoot a silhouette target the sort looks human but the fuzzy bunny ones are a ok??? Well we are gonna protest I tell you!!! All those fuzzy bunny’s being blown away, my lord!!!
    Oh wait what about zombies?? I am sure there is a coalition for shooting zombie targets too?

    Sigh.. The stupidity never ceases to amaze me sometimes…

  10. It seems this would be the perfect opportunity for the Zombie targets, that way we get body “shapes” but they’re not real or alive, therefore…. we need the practice anyway, if the Mayans are right the zombie apocalypse is coming in December.

  11. Try and shoot at something other than a bulls eye type target at the Broward County, FL. Range at Markham Park. They are on you in a flash as if you broke a law

  12. it’s OK for cops to practice using targets that represent what they’ll most likely find themselves shooting at

    Do you mean targets that look like household pets?

  13. The elected legislators in Utah are actually really good about checking the power of entrenched bureaucrats. This is a really good demonstration of our state’s legislators being made aware of state employee overstep and taking action to correct.

  14. I am a lifelong Utahn this state is very gun friendly. Unfortunately recently a major news outlet here (ksl) has started a journalistic anti-gun assault. It started with trying to blame every fire this summer on guns. At least once a week they run a poorly written piece trying to stir shit up. I don’t know who the weasel behind it is but it is getting tiring. Nobody is buying any of it anyway. Most people here have been around firearms their whole lives.

  15. It’s not stupidity, it’s the denial of basic human nature that says one can reason with a mad man intent on whole sale slaughter; that feels a sign on the side of a building making a gun free zone will keep out that same homicidal maniac; that says by thinking good thoughts and being defenseless will protect oneself from that same mad man; the worst aspects of being politically correct; where a person denies the reality of the world and replaces it with wishful thinking.
    The kind of denial that believes peace can be had without the willingness of of good men and women willing to do battle to protect those who build from those who would destroy.

  16. A couple of years back some kids here in town got busted for pot or coke or whatever. Who cares. Anyway, when the police went in to toss their apartment they found among other things a life-size target of a generic cop.

    The city police, county sheriffs, most of the surrounding municipal police departments, the newspapers and an endless procession of state worshipers (via letters to the editors and similar nonsense) had an absolute, unending shit fit over that target. It just went on and on. All over a five foot tall piece of cardboard with ink on it.

  17. Its typical for buearocrats politians to think its ok for police because they dont care about to the public only themselves & their family because they have body guards & police protecting them.

  18. Missouri Department of Conservation has a similar policy at their manned ranges. The have even told me not to use the dirty bird targets which don’t really use a silhouette, but have a vague head like area at the top.


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