closed gun ranges


October 4, 2013, 04:52 PM
I was just wondering if anyone could enlighten me on the situation of gun ranges in national forests. I shoot at a range in the cherokee national forest and it takes a solid 45 minutes to get there. I just hate to drive an hour and a half to not do anything. Would these ranges be closed because of the shutdown even if they are in the middle of nowhere? Thanks for any info.:confused:

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October 4, 2013, 05:05 PM
If they are normally staffed with federal employees, they are almost definitely shut down

October 4, 2013, 05:13 PM
That's why I was curious. I have never seen it staffed. Its just out in the forrest. They just change the trasg every few days and put up targets pists once a week.

October 4, 2013, 05:43 PM
Take your own trash bags and targets, and have fun!

October 4, 2013, 06:05 PM
I hardly think they can keep you out. I suppose a ranger could yell at you if they happen to come by, but they may not be working either. If you're talking about the one on Spring Creek, I go there sometimes.

Lex Luthier
October 5, 2013, 09:52 AM
I believe making the trip and checking it out would be worth it. You can't know if you don't go.

October 5, 2013, 11:16 AM
I'd go.

October 5, 2013, 11:43 AM
I'm going to be driving by Bubbling Springs range a bit later this afternoon. I'll take the little detour and see what the story is.

October 5, 2013, 12:17 PM
From what I was told, you can still visit national forests and parks, but cannot camp overnight. I guess shooting should be fine, then.

October 5, 2013, 03:14 PM
They are shut down, who will keep you out?

October 5, 2013, 11:06 PM
If they are shut down, who will keep you out?

To clarify on behalf of my furloughed brethren; only "non-essential" employees are furloughed. Generally speaking there are still a couple people at each field station or office keeping the lights on and shuffling paperwork.

Some of the "essential" employees for the NPS, USFS, BLM, and USFWS are either primary or secondary-duty LEO. At the moment they're likely more concerned with keeping the peace during hunting season. They may be instructed to make sure people stay out of areas beyond closed gates. But there's no real way to close off millions upon millions of acres of open public land.

To keep it OP related, if there's no gate at your FS range my money would be that it's open. Take that for what it's worth, I made bets at work that congress would pass a CR in the middle of the night and I'd still be employed...

October 6, 2013, 11:53 AM
I stopped in to Bubbling Springs yesterday. There were two signs posted saying that it was closed. Of course, there's no gate there...

The range was a stop on the way to another F.S. area I wanted to fish. It too was posted as closed. I was not the only fisherman on that creek yesterday. Lots of civil disobedience going on in that area ;).

October 6, 2013, 11:56 AM
You may see postings, but at this point only NPS sites have access blocked.

October 6, 2013, 12:44 PM

Several F.S. roads I saw were gated off. It seemed like any of them that weren't through roads (connecting paved to paved) were gated off. Much like 441 through GSMNP being left open.

I did hear a report of someone that spoke to a NPS Ranger who, when asked what he'd do to someone walking through the gate, responding "watch you walk up the hill." They even removed barricades at Newfound Gap yesterday and the place was packed from pictures I saw.

October 6, 2013, 01:47 PM
I would be on the safe side and not enter a closed facility while armed, armed trespassing is a felony and I cant help but say you may open a big can of legal worms if you enter a closed firing range even for just a little fun firing at targets!!

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