From rifles to handguns, it was a firearm enthusiast’s paradise at Joe Rich Sportsman’s Association’s first open house.
Shooters of all ages and abilities were invited to try their hand at 50, 100 and 300 metre ranges, under experienced supervision.
Every participant was paired off with a member of the association to ensure safety. An experienced gun handler was arms-length away, helping keep the gun pointed in a safe direction and walking the participant through the experience step by step.
About 1000 participants are expected by day’s end at the open house. Children are also encouraged to attend with a guardian.
Daniel Fritter is the new president of the association. He says negative reactions regarding gun use generally stem from a fear of the unknown.
“A lot of people don’t understand the gun laws that we all, as gun owners, have to exist under and they don’t understand… the safety procedures,” he said. “So those are the sorts of folks that I wish would come out shooting the most because they probably would have the most to gain from it.”
For Jessica McDonald, it was her first time shooting a gun. She said she wanted to try the sport to see if she is interested, even though hand guns make her nervous. “I’ve been a bit nervous but this has been fantastic,” she said. “Everyone is helpful.”
The Joe Rich Sportsman Association is a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting and preserving shooting sports. The association also trains and educates people on the safe and responsible handling of firearms.
A year membership costs $200, which includes a key for year-round access to shoot from morning until dusk.
Fritter says he is hoping to have another open house in September as the reaction has been extremely positive from the community.
For more information on the association, visit the JRSA website.