You Ask, We Investigate: Northwest Arkansas’ only public shooting range to remain closed

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ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) —  In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Investigate’ report, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner found out when the only public shooting range in Northwest Arkansas will be back open.

The shooting range at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area in Rogers sees thousands of people every year.

“This particular action target capture system is according to Action Target their most abused range in the United States,” said Mark Clippinger, Park Superintendent at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area.

Action Target, which installed the shooting range in 2003, sent someone to inspect the facility earlier this year. Findings from the visit prompted the range to close in April 2019.

“Action Target sent a consultant to us and he fine-tunes the range,” Clippinger said. “In doing that he discovered we have some issues with the structure itself. Those issues concern safety number one and number two structural failure. We want to come back with a bigger and better option, a better-managed option, one that we can control better to try and reduce the expense and also the operating requirements that it has for our staff here at Hobbs State Park.”

Clippinger said they have been working on a plan to fix the range for the past several months.

“We’ve gathered some initial information since April, some basic information from Action Target and started evaluating our needs,” he said. “We’ve now passed that information on to a local consulting engineer and he’s researching the options that we gave him at that time. We are looking at options that include rebuilding the existing facility we have or not rebuilding it and just putting a berm, leaving the earth and berm up and capture the lead within and capsulate the lead within the earth and berm.”

They are also looking at ways to improve operations.

“It is likely we are going to change that system since the gate is just open and people come and go during the hours we operate,” Clippinger said. “I think we will go to some type of registration or reservation or membership organization. You’ll have to pay a fee to use the range.”

The range is expected to be back open in about one year.

If there’s something you want to know about in your community, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@knwa.com.

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