The Limestone County Sheriff's Office has long been proactive in teaching local gun owners safety techniques, but now those who sign up for civilian firearms classes are able to test their skills on a new range at the Sheriff's Rodeo Arena on Alabama 99.
The most recent class of participants had a chance to break in the range during a live fire portion of the class Saturday. New classes will be scheduled as resources allow.
Limestone County Sheriff's Office deputy and spokesman Stephen Young said it took about eight to 10 months to complete the range because of weather delays. Construction of the range was funded by donations, rodeo proceeds and funds from the sale of concealed carry permits.
Future plans include the addition of a pavilion with tables for shaded seating and space to keep range gear.
“The new range offers benefits to Limestone County deputies, other agencies and the citizens of Limestone County through scheduled firearms classes for civilians, specialized and regular departmental training, and, in the future, some scheduled 'range days' when the public will be able to use the range under the supervision of our training officers,” he said.
The next civilian firearms class has not been scheduled yet, but those interested in signing up should visit the Sheriff's Office at 101 W. Elm St., Athens, and provide a name, address and contact number to be added to a waiting list.
Applicants must be a resident of Limestone County and possess a current concealed carry permit through the county. The course fee is $10.
Young said there are additional classes offered through private instructors. The Sheriff's Office can provide information about those classes for anyone who doesn't want to wait until the next course offering. For more information, call 256-232-0111.