Shooting Ranges and their Growing Relevance to Community Building

All over the world, shooting ranges are increasing in popularity. Every year, millions of people participate in different forms of target shooting.

Shooting ranges aren’t just places where people go to shoot guns/target practice. The archetypical stereotype is gradually fading. Some shooting ranges now have children sections (to occupy kids while parents have fun), canteens, music halls, meeting halls, parks, and many other recreational facilities. Shooting ranges are becoming an essential tool for socializing and community building.

Reasons Why Shooting Ranges are Becoming Useful tools in Community Building

1. An Engaging Source of Fun

Our busy lives often leave us bored, stressed, and drained. Most times, we forgot how important relaxing and unwinding could be. During shooting/target practice, there is an enforced slowing of the hectic everyday pace.

Shooting lovers/enthusiasts usually relay that spending as little as an hour at the range helps to calm them down. Shooting ranges can be a whole lot of fun, especially when using a quality rifle and a matching rifle scope of similar quality. For instance, long distance scopes allow you to view a large area, giving the shooter a virtual/game feeling.

Also, most shooting ranges have a natural feel, giving members of the community an excellent environment to relieve stress and forget real-life situations and challenges.

Autumn Wlkenback gets help from Stuart Goldsby, the Regional Hunter Education Coordinator for the State of Alabama Departmant of Conservation & Natural Resources.

2. Aid Family Bonding

A happy family means a happy community. Target practice has been a tradition passed down from generation to generation.  Fathers and mothers can bond with their children (sons and daughters), giving them their first lessons in gun handling/shooting. Most parents find it fulfilling and a source of pride.

Besides, what better way to spend a weekend or holiday than in the company of family.

3. Increases Interaction and Unity in the community

Most shooting ranges hold community competitions where members of the community can interact and unify. This meeting creates a sense of camaraderie. Neighbors get to speak to each other, age-long friends can catch up on old times, and the community, in general, has a better feeling of togetherness.

Shooting ranges some times pair members of the same age group together. Such meetings are usually fun, as participants typically share similar experiences and ideas.

4. A Source of Income and Tourism

Shooting ranges bring a lot of revenue to host communities. Firstly, many members of the community can become gainfully employed. This engagement is due to the numerous facilities and activities that accompany them.

It equally generates revenue for the community as tourists from neighboring towns and states would most likely patronize community services and facilities, including bars, hotels/motels, restaurants, and many more.

Most shooting range lovers are willing to spend to support their recreational activities (shooting ranges and other related sports.

5. Helps To Build Discipline

Shooting/target practice is also known as mental activity or sport. That’s because they require high concentration levels and focus. These are essential tools in building discipline.

Besides discipline, it helps to build personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is the foundation lesson for any beginner (shooting beginner). This practice is vital for both safety and skill development. These values (discipline and accountability) are also useful at the shooting range. They become part and parcel of any participant.

Psychologists and social analysts believe this could be a foundation for security and liberty in the family, community, and world at large.

6. A Form of Exercise

Members of the community, both the old and young, can use shooting ranges to exercise and keep fit. Shooting/target practice requires good posture, stability, strength, proper body conditioning, and endurance. All these have a good effect on the body and can help to straighten bones and exercise muscles. Some elderly individuals have praised and pronounced shooting ranges as their favorite form of exercise.

7. Offers a Feeling of Security and Safety

Society is constantly evolving. Shootings, terrorist acts, and other acts of violence are on the increase. The ability of members of the community to protect and defend themselves is becoming more important/relevant.

Emergencies happen when anyone least expects. Similarly, you might never know when you need to fire a weapon (gun). It could be to defend yourself, members of your family or community.

Knowing how to shoot accurately might be a bonus or lifesaver in such a situation. Generally, a community might feel safer with the knowledge that its members can defend itself in extreme conditions. Of course, law enforcement agents are usually available to protect lives and property, and self-defense should only come as a last resort.

Equally, many accidents are avoidable when members of a community know necessary gun precautions (safe handling). Statistics show that there is an increasing amount of gun-related accidents around the world. Although situations differ, the common theme in such accidents is a lack of adequate gun safety and awareness.

Communities, where shooting ranges exist, can mitigate these occurrences as most members would have basic knowledge of safe handling.


Shooting ranges are growing in relevance around the world. They provide a source of recreation and fun, aid family bonding, increase interaction and unity in the community. They also offer an extra source of income for the city and its members, while boosting security and safety.