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Muscatine County looks to open the only public shooting range

MUSCATINE COUNTY, Iowa-- Conservation county board members in Muscatine are getting ready for their next meeting with the zoning commission Thursday, July 13.

That's when members plan to introduce plans to build the county's first public shooting range.

"We're looking at supplying two ranges on there, one of them will be a 25 yard or less range that will mainly be for pistols or small caliber rifles. The other one will be up to a 200 range, we'll have berm stops at 50, 100 and 200 yard ranges," says Muscatine County Conservation Board Director Curt Weiss.

Right now, target practice is only available to short range shooters at privately owned areas in the county. Longer ranged shooters, like those who own rifles and shot guns have to travel as far as Burlington or Blue Grass to use their fire arm.

"It's nice that we live in a farmland area but there's a lot of farmers that don't want people shooting on their property. So if your lucky enough to have a place out in the country, where you can shoot, you're one of the few," says Malinda Einfeldt, Shooting Stars Gun Range.

The conservation board hopes to put the new range next to the Cedar Bottoms Wildlife Area, on the west side of the Cedar River.  It will take up 25 acres of land and cost around $150,000 dollars.

The closest home in that area is more than two miles away, Weiss says that as well as putting bullet barriers inside range would increase safety measures in the facility.

The public is encouraged to voice their opinions on the new facility at the public hearing at the Environmental Learning Center in Discover Park at 6 p.m.

If approved the gun range could open as the end of the fall.