Sheriff's Office Urges Target Shooting Safety - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sheriff's Office Urges Target Shooting Safety

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Rising temperatures not only increase potential fire dangers but due to the hot weather the Washoe County Sheriff's Office is anticipating an upsurge in calls about recreational shooting.

Paul Bogdanovich has been target shooting for years. "I shoot 9 millimeter, 10 millimeter, 22."

He says when it comes to practice shooting it's best to do it at places like the Washoe County Regional Shooting Facility 23 miles away from town. "If you go out in the desert you know, there's always a chance of starting a fire, here there are two range masters. They keep an eye on everything. There's no chance of getting shot while you're out there fixing a target."

That's part of Washoe County's message on recreational shooting safety.

Friday afternoon the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, sheriff's office and County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung gave speeches highlighting some the concerns they've received from residents lately. "I've had a number of citizens approach me concerned with issued with respect to fires and rifles and pistols fairly close to the houses."

Firefighters also worry about the dangers associated with target shooting in this dry weather.

"Last year we estimate we had about 4 or 5 fires started from target shooting," says Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore.

Signs have been put up to help combat the problem - one in Spanish Springs was installed last week. It's illegal for people to shoot in 'congested' areas. More than 75 signs have been posted throughout the county. Forty signs show what areas people are allowed to shoot in.

Shooters need to stay between 1,000 - 5,000 feet away from homes depending on what type of weapon they use. Target shooters are also encouraged to practice at shooting ranges where strict safety regulations are in place.

"If you're in a congested area you're going to kill somebody by accident. You're not even going to know it. These bullets travel long distances," says Bogdanovich.

It cost the sheriff's office around $2,500 to create and install all the signs. Two to three more safety signs will be added in Cold Springs in the next few weeks.

Written by Chloe Beardsley
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