Rhode Island’s Great Swamp Shooting Range Reopens for the Season

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has announced the reopening of the Great Swamp Shooting Range, inviting sportsmen and women to utilize the state’s only free, public outdoor shooting facility. Nestled within the Great Swamp Management Area, the range offers enthusiasts spaces dedicated to three distinct disciplines: archery, clay target shooting, and paper target shooting.

As of its reopening, the facility welcomes visitors for the season, remaining accessible until November 1st. Operating hours are from 8:30 AM to 6 PM, seven days a week, including holidays. While the range is free to use, visitors are required to obtain a range permit prior to usage. Detailed information regarding permit application can be found on the DEM website.

For inquiries and further information, individuals are encouraged to reach out to Branton.Elleman.CTR@dem.ri.gov.

Division of Fish and Wildlife Chief Phil Edwards emphasized the significance of the range in supporting the DEM Hunter Safety Education Program. Edwards noted, “Shooting accuracy and practice are critically important for ethical hunting and humane take of legally hunted game. Sighting in firearms, adjusting scopes, and simply practicing with targets are important and necessary steps to prepare for hunting.”

Since its establishment in 1976, the Great Swamp Shooting Range has undergone multiple renovations, including a comprehensive $2.1 million overhaul in 2018. These enhancements significantly improved both shooting opportunities and safety measures, aligning the facility with the latest industry standards. Noteworthy features include redesigned benches, baffles, and curtains between shooting stations, all aimed at ensuring a safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly shooting experience. Moreover, the range office operates on solar energy, contributing to reduced energy consumption.

Beyond providing a venue for enthusiasts to hone their skills, the range serves as a platform for promoting responsible firearm and archery practices among both adults and youth. Trained range officers oversee activities, fostering a positive and structured environment for participants.

Shooting sports not only offer physical and mental benefits but also contribute to wildlife conservation efforts. Revenue generated from special taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment supports conservation programs and wildlife habitat projects nationwide. Notably, the Great Swamp Shooting Range operates without utilizing general fund taxpayer money, relying instead on funding sourced from the federal Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.

Through the contributions of hunters and sports shooters, DEM has been able to protect wildlife habitats, conduct research, and provide educational opportunities for the public. Without their support, such conservation efforts would not be sustainable.




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