Valley News -

Board authorizes opening Lake Cahuilla Park firing range to public


Last updated 1/29/2019 at 6:33pm

RIVERSIDE - The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Jan. 29 approved an 18-month pilot project to permit recreational target shooting two weekends per month at the designated firing range at Lake Cahuilla Park, where currently only Riverside County law enforcement personnel are allowed to practice.

"Opening the range, on a limited basis ... promotes firearm education and safety within the public arena,'' said Supervisor Manuel Perez, who sought the pilot project.

"Few private sector facilities offer outdoor ranges for use in the Fourth District,'' he said. "Opening the county-owned, operated and maintained (Lake Cahuilla) facility for an 18-month trial period may result in reduced illegal discharge of firearms in the unincorporated areas of the sprawling district.''

Lake Cahuilla Park is located just south of La Quinta, on the rim of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Perez noted that the firing range there is one of three owned and operated by the county. All of the outdoor publicly owned ranges are presently restricted to use by law enforcement personnel and invited civilian shooters, according to the supervisor.

Under the pilot project, the Lake Cahuilla range will be open to the general public on the first and third weekends of every month.

Shooters will be charged a $15 fee per visit and will be subject to rules established by the range master, including limits on the types of firearms and ammunition that can be utilized.

Military veterans, reservists, active and former law enforcement personnel with proper identification will be able to access the facility at a reduced rate of $5 per visit, according to the supervisor's office.

His staff indicated that firearms training courses may be established after the project is up and running.

The Department of Human Resources will have to hire the part-time range master as part of the county temporary worker program. That individual may be a sheriff's deputy, or will be supervised by sheriff's personnel, according to Perez.

The tentative start date for public access is June 1, with hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the applicable weekends.

Further announcements regarding the project will be posted to the county's website once details are ironed out.


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