One of the first things we tell new gun owners is to get hands-on gun safety training on a range as soon as possible. One of the first things new gun owners then wonder is, "Okay, where can I find a range?" (Hint, hint: Start by clicking here.) Finding a place to shoot can be a barrier to entry for new shooters, and the MidwayUSA Foundation is working to break down that barrier ... by helping to build bigger, better ranges. For the second year in a row, the nonprofit is delivering an infusion of cold, hard cash to help ranges across the country improve their facilities. This year, 47 grant recipients received $750,000, cumulatively.
The main focus of the MidwayUSA Foundation's generosity is, as always, youth shooting teams. These teams teach gun safety, sportsmanship, responsible gun ownership, drive and focus in a sport that is safer than golf. That's critical to the future of the Second Amendment. (Of course, any range upgrade will benefit all of the shooters who use that range, whatever their age.) These cash grants let youth shooting teams work with their existing ranges on improvements and expansions.
The MidwayUSA Foundation's Range Development Grants are already showing results. Both the dollars paid and the recipient count shot up since the 2021 grant cycle. The awarded grant funds will add approximately 1,581 additional youth shooting events across the country and will increase capacity, allowing 22,000 more athletes to participate.
“A fundamental need of a shooting team is a place to shoot, and it is exciting to have the opportunity to fulfill another need in the world of youth shooting sports through our Range Development grants,” said MidwayUSA Foundation Executive Director, G. Scott Reynolds.
Ed White, Founder of Metal Madness Shooting Sports Association, is one of this year’s Range Development Grant recipients. “I am proud to announce that with the help of MidwayUSA Foundation we will be adding a SASP 8 1/2 lane range this summer. We will begin construction on the range after the SASP Nationals in July and I have been working with Rick Leach, National Director of SASP, to put together a SASP regional match along with some invitational matches this fall and next spring. “
In addition to the Range Development Grant Program, MidwayUSA Foundation holds endowments for nearly 2,800 youth shooting teams and over 70 state and national youth shooting sports organizations through Agency and Donor Designated endowments. These organizations coordinate and conduct youth shooting events for over 125,000 shooting sports athletes. Some organizations assisted by MidwayUSA Foundation include SCTP, SASP, ATA, ACUI, USA Shooting, and more.
To see the full list of MidwayUSA Foundation Range Development grant recipients, visit midwayusafoundation.org/. Applications for special purpose grants, like Range Development and Coach Training, will be accepted annually and applicants must hold an endowment with MidwayUSA Foundation to apply. Youth shooting programs interested in improving their respective range should work closely with that range to complete the grant application. MidwayUSA Foundation’s next Range Development grant cycle opens February 1, 2023.