Local News

County manager says Wake County will take over control of gun range

Posted December 18, 2019 2:52 p.m. EST
Updated December 20, 2019 10:38 p.m. EST

— The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it will shut down a local shooting range next month because of financial concerns.

But on Friday night, WRAL learns that county leaders now say "not so fast."

Sheriff Gerald Baker canceled the contract for the Wake Firearms Training Center in Apex, citing it lost money. Members of the public started a petition, and on Friday, County Manger David Ellis informed the sheriff that the county would take over control of the facility.

The manager says the county will find a balance between public and law enforcement use.

The sheriff's office has decided not to renew its contract with the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center, which provided firearms training to the public.

Officials are working with the range's operator, Range Safety Management LLC, to honor classes scheduled through Jan. 5, authorities said.

Sheriff Baker said the contract with RSM wasn't renewed because the range at 3921 Old Holly Springs Apex Road in Apex, was losing so much money that the sheriff's office had to subsidize its operations for the last seven years.

Also, a financial review found that fees and funds collected by RSM weren't accounted for accurately, he said.

RSM operators were notified of the move this week.

Last month, a civilian firearms instructor at the range shot himself in the leg while holstering his gun, authorities said.

Although the shooting range will remain available for law enforcement training, Baker says Wake County needs more space to provide training for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

"We are living in dangerous times," he said. "We need to have an ability to provide increased training opportunities for our officers so that they are prepared to face the dangers that may await them every day they protect our neighborhoods."

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