The Second Amendment rights of parkgoers are being challenged by nonshooting recreationalists and nearby residents in several Washington state forests.
After state officials received over 300 reports of unsafe, noisy, destructive or illegal target shooting on Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lands between January 2011-May 2016, as well as calls to ban shooting altogether, the DNR began discussing establishing designated shooting areas in four of the forest areas.
If done correctly, this option could reduce friction between parkgoers while preserving recreational shooters’ rights: If most shooters are concentrated in the designated areas, the number of complaints regarding noise and shooting in unsafe areas would decrease dramatically.
Pro-gun advocates see this as a win—provided their right to target shoot outside these areas isn’t revoked. “We support the concept of designated shooting areas, we just don’t want to do so and lose the freedom to shoot in other safe areas,” Joe Waldron of the Washington Rifle and Pistol Association said.