The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is considering prohibiting recreational shooting on the Sutton Lake, Mayo, Lee, Hyco, Harris, Chatham and Pee Dee River game lands. If approved, the new regulation will close thousands of acres of state-leased lands to target shooting that allows citizens to zero hunting rifles and hone their hunting and self-defense skills. These leases are paid for with money collected from the state's gun owners and hunters.
This prohibition of safe, responsible target shooting cannot be allowed. It will set a precedent for the closure of all other leased lands throughout the state. The landowner, Progress Energy, is requesting this change, but no specified reason is mentioned in the NCWRC Public Hearing Booklet on proposed rules changes. Similar efforts to close public lands to recreational shooting have cited public safety concerns. These claims, however, have not been supported by facts. North Carolina's gun owners have a remarkable safety record, and the Commission should not allow baseless and emotional claims to control public policy.
With formal shooting ranges under increasing attack from anti-gun extremists, it is more critical than ever to keep public lands available for safe, responsible shooting. North Carolina's firearms and hunting heritage counts on it. Please act today by going to the Wildlife Commission's website and providing comments in opposition to the prohibition of recreational shooting on these public game lands. The comments section can be found here and the item number is H31. All public comments must be received by Friday, February 1.