Construction at Lethbridge’s Shooting Sports Facility got underway this week.

The project, funded in part by the City’s 2018-2027 Capital Improvement Program, will enhance safety features to ensure long-term operation of the facility.

Bryan Litchfield is the City’s Project Manager for Facility Services. He says the Fish and Game Association, which operates the shooting range, has proposed a “no blue sky” concept.

“We’re going to build up the berms. We’re going to put in backstops to trap bullets. We’re going to put in air baffles and ground baffles so when someone is standing at a shooting line and ready to fire, all they will see is a target, no blue sky, so that no projectile is going to leave the range,” said Litchfield at a local press conference this week.

Built in the 1980’s, the facility is used by 1,600 plus Lethbridge Fish and Game Association members as well as Government enforcement groups, security forces, regional clubs and the general public.

Fish and Game Association President, Allan Friesen, says since opening, there have only been two cases of projectiles leaving the range – one in 2005 and another in 2013. He says in both of those cases the people using firearms were not using them the right way in terms of safety. Friesen notes had these new changes going on now been in place back then when those two incidents took place, a projectile would never have left the range.

Friesen says this proactive approach will help ensure long-term safety and operation of the shooting range while expanding the association’s ability to hold larger and more complex sporting events.