BUTTE – Take your best shots while you can. Because Butte is aiming to ban shooting behind Big Butte soon.
“For us to keep people safe back here we’re going to have to make this truly an open space park and there’s no shooting within our parks,” said Butte Parks and Recreation Director JP Gallagher.
Despite being an open space park, Butte has never prevented people from using this area as a shooting range for decades. However, the city wants to add more trails behind Big Butte just east of the shooting area and recreation officials say some shooters are abusing their privilege by littering and firing recklessly.
“It’s not a matter of if something will happen, it’s, kind of the way things are going, it’s when something bad will happen, so we’re not going to sit back and wait for something bad to happen,” said Gallagher.
The city tried to address this issue by putting up signs tell shooters not to fire east toward Big Butte. Well, these signs were met with bullet holes.
“When we tried to give this public a little bit of a chance by saying, ‘don’t shoot this direction,’ well, as you can see, it gets abused. They shoot that direction,” he said.
Some avid shooters understand the city’s frustration with the litter, but some say that most shooters are considerate and safe.
“I believe that everybody out here shooting as a very safe manner when they’re shooting and they know what they’re doing and I think everybody out here practices those manners,” said Tyler Onstott.
The city plans to put up fencing to prevent people from driving motor vehicles into the shooting areas. Gallagher recommends shooters use the designated shooting ranger near Rocker for a fee.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News