Outdoors Notebook: Public shooting range fine sparks debate

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Online gun forums in Pennsylvania are all a-quiver over news that a Pittsburgh man was fined $1,100 for using a state shooting range without a permit.

In fact, on March 13 a wildlife conservation officer at the range on Allegheny County State Game Land 203 watched a shooter squeeze off 10 quick rounds in violation of state-run range regulations limiting shooters to three-round clips When confronted the man presented a counterfeit shooting range permit.

The fine was for the range violation and possession of a bogus permit. He faces a possible five-year revocation of shooting-range permit eligibility -- in effect, a five-year ban on using state-run ranges --and a five-year revocation of hunting license privileges.

As part of a statewide program to remove toxic lead from firing ranges located on state game lands, in 2007 the Game Commission spent $1 million remediating 1950s to 1960s-era earthen backstops contaminated with decades of lead bullets.

The project included work on drainage, side berms, gravel sidewalks, compliance with National Rifle Association safety standards and upgrades intended to make future lead remediation unnecessary on the state's 30 state game land public shooting ranges.

In 2011 shooting range permits costing $30 were required of shooters not displaying a valid hunting or fur-taking license. The intent seems clear: hunters in search of a sighting range are welcome; recreational shooters are expected to shoot somewhere else.

Archery shoot

Canonsburg Sportsmen will hold a series of 3D archery shoots 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, July 28, Aug. 18 and Sept. 22. Call 724-986-1800 for details.

Walleye waters

Nearly 100,000 walleye fingerlings were recently added to previous Fish and Boat Commission stockings in Southwest Pennsylvania. Below are waters, county (number of walleye). May 30: Youghiogheny River Lake, Fayette (113,600); May 31: Glendale Lake, Cambria (48,000). June 3: Keystone Lake, Armstrong (19,000); Yellow Creek Lake, Indiana (21,600); Green Lick Reservoir, Fayette (10,000); Cross Creek Lake, Washington (14,700). June 4: Colver Reservoir, Cambria (3,750); Somerset Lake, Somerset (12,650); Quemahoning Reservoir, Somerset (18,000); High Point Lake, Somerset (13,550). June 5: Dunlap Creek Lake, Fayette (1,000).

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