It’s August, and you know what that means: it’s National Crayon Collection Month. It’s also National Catfish Month, National Eye Exam Month, and National Golf Month.
But if you ask Andy Hunter, manager of the Cache Valley Public Shooting Range, you’ll get a different answer.
“August is the National Shooting Sports Month,” Hunter said. “This month we’re really pushing gun safety, the shooting sports, nationwide.”
To celebrate, Utah’s public shooting ranges are offering free and discounted shooting when you show the receipt for a firearm or bow purchased within 30 days of your visit. Shotgun shooters get half price, and everybody else gets a day of free shooting. You can also take advantage of the offer at the Lee Kay Public Shooting Range in Salt Lake City.
National Sports Shooting Month isn’t the only reason for the event.
“Right now, there are more firearms being sold, bought, than any time in history,” he said. “It is huge.”
According to data collected as part of the National Firearms Act, there were more firearms registered last year than any year before. Hunter said some of these purchases are people who bought guns for self defense, and have never handled them before.
“We get a lot of people come in with a brand new gun and just set it on the counter and say, ‘I just bought this. I need somebody to teach me how to use it,’” he said.
That’s a big part of why Utah’s shooting ranges are trying to make a difference.
“We’ve got volunteers that are out on the ranges whether it’s a handgun range or a rifle range that are knowledgeable and can teach them,” he said. “It’s part of getting all of these new shooters trained to where they’re safe, so that we’re all safe.”