Fort Payne bucks trend on gun restriction

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2007

In a time when the majority of municipalities nationwide are restricting gun rights, Fort Payne stands out as the exception.

When a group of shotgun enthusiasts started searching for acreage to build a sporting clays range, the only feasible spot available happened to be inside the Fort Payne city limits.

Instead of getting the cold shoulder from city and county officials, Fort Payne and DeKalb County decided to work with the group that formed Northeast Alabama Sporting Clays and eliminate any obstacles to the shooting facility. The main obstacle was a Fort Payne city ordinance that had to be amended.

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Of course, the City Council and Jordan didn&8217;t vote for the change without considering the consequences.

Those aforementioned shotgun enthusiasts found the 110-acre parcel of land and deemed it perfect for a sporting clays range in the hills on the edge of Fort Payne.

A group of 25 investors formed to put the range together.

Ironically, the land that was chosen was once owned by Mayor Jordan.

Craig said NEASCA hopes to be another stop on the sporting clays map for shooters who travel the circuit, who prefer the challenge of shooting on different terrain.

Of course, it may take a little while for the word to get around about the new course, especially with the short time it took for the course to go from conception to reality, including a covered 5-Stand area and well-equipped clubhouse.

More than 300 people shot the course on that opening weekend.

David Rainer is with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.