Barnstable PD to Handle Shooting Range Operations


A Barnstable police officer at the town’s shooting range before it closed in 2012.

BARNSTABLE – The West Barnstable Shooting Range is now under the oversight of the Barnstable Police Department.  

The state has approved the plan proposed by Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells, which will take 27-acres of town land out of conservation to offset the conservation land lost to the range.

Ells also has placed the responsibility of operations, safety improvements and site cleanup on the police department.

“It is my decision as town manager to assign this shooting range to the Barnstable Police Department. Initially, use of the facility will be limited to the police department,” said Ells.

The plan will also take 27-acres of town land out of conservation, due to the range being on conservation land. Since the range is currently taking up conservation land for recreational use, the state requires the town to designate and equal parcel to be used for conservation efforts and offset the loss to the shooting range.

“We had a smaller area identified and then believed it was best, that given the historic shot-fall area, that we expand that area that was identified as the range. The physical range is about two and a half acres. The rest of the area is historically, over the last 50 years, where the shot, primarily the shotgun shot, has fallen,” Ells explained.

Ells says that initially, use of the shooting range will be limited to members of the Barnstable Police Department. The police department has been tasked to “develop a program for the public use of the shooting range and to bring forward said program for Town Manager to review and approval as appropriate.”

The plan proposed by Ells also states that when open to the public, range use will be limited to the hours between sunrise and sundown.

In November of 2016, the Barnstable Town Council approved a 17-acre land swap to locate the range just off of Breeds Hill Road. The Town Council also designated $350,000 to site cleanup efforts.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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