Over 89% of Missourians live within 30 minutes of a firearms range (of any ownership). About 51% live within 30 minutes of a MDC firearms range.
Area Managers reported three common rule violations leading to some of the biggest problems: littering, including use of unauthorized targets (often on the ground); improper firearm use; and vandalism.
Area Managers reported that having:
- A recently renovated or “cleaned up” range was generally thought to improve public behavior and diminish the trash issue especially.
- A local group that thought “ownership,” whether or not there was an official agreement, also helped with behavior issues.
- Increased MDC (especially Conservation Agent) presence was universally seen as helpful – at least during the time that MDC staff was onsite.
An estimated 299,810 visitors, in 171,423 parties, used 39 unstaffed ranges during 2015, with about 1.5 visits per visitor per year. (See Table 1.)
Missourians made up 95% of the visitors. Most shooters were male (84%); and most were adults (92%). Over 60% of users had purchased a hunting license.
MDC’s unstaffed ranges provided over $1.8 million in economic benefits (consumer surplus) to the users. The estimated economic impact on Missouri’s economy of spending associated with use at MDC ranges is $7.3 million.