Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts, and wild tales from the outdoors
Sept. 2, 2009
Beware Of The ‘Misinformation Superhighway’
The World Wide Web is undoubtedly a modern marvel for instant communication and
the exchange of information, but it also has its dubious side. Recently,
firearms enthusiasts have been deluged with e-mails about so-called legislative
threats to gun ownership. The truth is they are bogus and seriously
exaggerated. You’ll also read about a talented Colorado black bear, and much
Don’t Believe Gun Bill Rumors
In recent weeks, gun writers and national shooting and gun rights organizations
have been fielding an increasing number of queries from concerned firearms
enthusiasts regarding alleged federal legislation that could potentially have a
negative effect on gun ownership in the U.S.
Outdoor News Hound readers can rest assured that any e-mail they have
received regarding SB 2099 or HR 45 (The Blair Holt Act) can be deleted and
Chalk it up to Internet frenzy and much-ado-about-nothing.
According to e-mails and some Internet forums, SB 2099 would allegedly
require gun owners to list their firearms on their tax documents (and pay
upward of $50 per gun owned).
The bottom line: there is no such bill.
Also generating Internet buzz is HR 45, (AKA: The Blair Holt Act). Sponsored
by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), the legislation calls for all handgun owners
to submit to the federal government a formal application including photo
identification, fingerprints, medical and mental health records, and a
completed written firearm safety examine. The legislation also mandates that a
federal database be established of all firearm sales and transfers.
The truth about HR 45 is that it has no co-sponsors and has not budged since
As one shooting writer colleague described it to The News Hound,
"President Lincoln has more life than The Blair Holt Act."
Nation’s Largest Public Shooting Park Dedicated
After years of hard work, business deals, political maneuvering and court
challenges, dignitaries and shooting sports enthusiasts gathered last week to
dedicate the sprawling, 2,900-acre Clark County Shooting Park located in North
Las Vegas, Nev.
The largest facility of its kind in the country is expected to be officially
open for shooters sometime in early October, though some area homeowner groups
continue to mount challenges to block its use.
The ambitious and far-reaching project was launched in 2002, after U.S.
Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and John Ensign (R-NV) spearheaded federal
legislation to transfer BLM land to Clark County for the expansive complex.
Both Sens. Reid and Ensign were on hand for the August 25 dedication
ceremonies, along with Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Nevada Governor Jim
Gibbons (R), who also played a pivotal role in the land and funding
acquisition. Leaders from the national shooting sports community were also on hand including NRA CEO Wayne La Pierre, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris
Cox, and Larry Keane, senior VP of the National Sports Shooting Foundation.
"As the largest shooting park in the world, this state-of-the-art
facility represents Nevada’s pride in gun ownership and shooting sports,"
Sen. Reid said during his remarks at the dedication. "In addition to
providing a safe place for Nevadans to hone their shooting skills, the park
will provide important firearms training and gun safety programs. I am glad to
have been a part of securing land and funding for this project and I thank
everyone involved with the project for making it a reality."
The 178-acre public module of the CCSP scheduled for initial use is
comprised of a Shotgun Center, Public Rifle/Pistol Center, Hunter Education
Center and an Archery Center.
The Shotgun Center contains 24 combination trap and skeet fields, a
5,443-square-foot shotgun center with a reception area, a pro shop, shotgun
storage lockers, a cafeteria, and 80 full-service RV sites.
The Rifle/Pistol Center offers 30 shooting points up to 50 yards; 15
shooting points up to 200 yards; 15 points up to 100 yards; and a 3,000-square-foot
building with a convenience store and classroom.
The 4,400-square-foot Hunter Education building contains classrooms with adjacent
ranges and shooting courses.
All CCSP ranges provide shaded armadas, lighting for night shooting,
restrooms, and other amenities.
Earlier this year, a federal judge refused to grant an injunction blocking
the completion of the facility after a group of homeowners charged that the
range would violate county noise ordinances. Though unsuccessful, opponents of
the shooting park have vowed to continue attempts to halt its use and
Bear Gets Leg Up With Ladder
Wildlife authorities in the Colorado high country have been swamped with
reports about problem black bears all summer long. In the Aspen region alone,
authorities have fielded more than 265 bear nuisance calls since July 1.
Last week an Aspen woman was attacked and slightly injured by a black bear
that entered her home. The offending bruin was subsequently shot and killed by
Colorado Division of Wildlife officers.
With the surge in bear activity in resort towns this year, it was not really
anything unusual for employees of the Snowmass Parks and Recreation Department
to see a bear when they arrived at work Tuesday morning. That is, unless you
consider that the medium-sized blackie was hopelessly stuck at the bottom of
the town’s new below-ground skateboard park bowl.
The distraught bruin evidently slid down the contoured and sloping cement
walls of the skating facility overnight, and was unable to maneuver his way to
freedom, despite his repeated efforts.
With assistance from officers with the Snowmass Village Police Department, a
long utility ladder was placed along one of the walls and after some trial and
error, the bear scurried up the ladder like he was practicing for a circus
Quote Of The Week
"So long as the new moon returns in heaven a bent, beautiful bow, so long
will the fascination of archery keep hold in the hearts of men."
“The Witchery of Archery,” 1879
J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear
in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the
outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at