Local News

Southern Pines School Wants To Give Firing Range A Shot

Posted February 9, 2004

— Many schools teach shooting and gun safety classes off campus. Now, a school in Southern Pines wants to build a shooting range at the school.

Calvary Christian School has a small student body, and a big request. The school wants a shooting range on campus.

"I don't really see the purpose in it myself, but they're a private school," Southern Pines resident Jill Phillips said.

Certified instructors would teach students about shooting, using air rifles and BB guns instead of actual firearms. The only thing standing in the way is a town ordinance.

As it now stands, you cannot shoot a weapon inside the city limits. The town council will decide Tuesday whether to carve out an exception for schools like Calvary Christian.

Headmaster Dwight Creech said the school already offers the class off-campus. Having it on-campus would save time, money, and maybe, even lives.

"The schools teach driver's education safety, we teach fire safety, and it seems a reasonable thing to include in our curriculum gun safety," Creech said.

The school owns 26 acres of land. Creech said the firing range could be tucked away in a safe location.

"If it's live ammo -- no. If it's something for an activity like paint guns and stuff like that, to me that's different," town visitor Tina Williams said.

The final decision rests with the town council.

The school offers daycare through 12th grade. The headmaster said the shooting range would be for older children only.

In 1999, the state Senate made it illegal for anyone to have a BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, or air pistol on school property unless the weapon is used solely for educational or school-sanctioned ceremonial purposes.

Adult supervision is mandatory and must be approved by the school authority.

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