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Shooting range bill moved to appropriations committee

Only two senators on the Ag committee voted to kill the bill.
Only two senators on the Ag committee voted to kill the bill.(Jeffery Lindblom)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 4:13 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A bill in the South Dakota legislature that aims to build a public shooting range in Meade County moved to a joint committee on appropriations.

Senate Bill 175 passed Thursday morning to the appropriations committee, where lawmakers will discuss how the proposed $2.5 million will be spent on the potential construction of the shooting range.

Only two senators on the Ag committee voted to kill the bill.

The range, located close to Rapid City, would be run by the state Game, Fish, and Parks department.

The bill’s main sponsor, Senator David Johnson of Meade County, says while the department has raised an impressive amount of money, he believes the project cannot be done without the $2.5 million from the state.

“They want to make sure the place is built according to safety standards, public relations standards, and they want to make sure this facility is monitored for safety.”

Many Meade County residents have spoken in opposition to the shooting range, saying that it would be a nuisance for people living in that area.

However, Jeff Olson, board member of the Black Hills Sportsman’s Club, argues that a safe, professional shooting range is needed in western South Dakota.

“A lot of people don’t want landfills in their backyard, or a bar down the street, or a sewer lagoon in their neighborhood. But those are needs, and this is a huge need that we’ve been working on for a long time.”

Olson adds that the range would be an opportunity for area youth to get involved in shooting sports.

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