Off Target: Horry Council shifts aim on gun range

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – After months of discussion, hours of planning, and weeks of searching for the perfect location, Horry County decided it is way off target when it comes to a public shooting range.

During Monday's Infrastructure and Regulation meeting, committee members were set to discuss the property picked to host the shooting range. However, members decided they do not believe it is the government's responsibility to fund and run a gun range.

Now, the panel is taking aim at a different sector to take over the project.

"The prize location is off of Highway 90 which is part of the Solid Waste Authority," Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier started to explain.

The I&R committee had determined that property based off the large land mass available to develop the gun complex. In addition, it is removed from any residential area, with the closest home nearly a mile away.

However, before the county could pull the trigger, the decision took a turn.

"Most important is the concept of whether or not county council wants to get involved in the running of a shooting range," said Bourcier.

When that question was posed to the committee, members decided the answer was 'no.'

"Today they are not in favor of that. We do not have an ordinance in place, it is more of a draft concept," explained Bourcier.

In addition, members worried about the liability and costs.

"Liability was a huge issue. As well as reoccurring costs," said Bourcier.

Operating expenses are predicted to be just over $86,000.

"With it being a gun complex plus a training facility, it can be self-sustaining," urged Christopher Davis. Davis spent time pouring over plans and created his own design to propose to council.

During Monday's meeting, he told the committee they are missing the mark.

"It would be a tourist attraction. There's lots of money to be made here," said Davis.

The county isn't shutting down the idea altogether. Members want to pursue an outside company to get involved instead.

"To encourage public entities to get involved. We have a private company in talks with council as well," explained Bourcier.

The issue will be presented to the full council on October 7th when it will be up for a vote.

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