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NEWS | Feb. 25, 2014

'High caliber': JBLE reloads at privately-owned weapons range

By Staff Sgt. Katie Gar Ward 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base Langley-Eustis gun enthusiasts may find it hard to believe a local shooting range charges only $30 annually for unlimited use.

Rather than pay up to several hundred dollars for annual gun-range memberships in the area, JBLE Service members and families can line up their sights more affordably at the newly-designated privately-owned weapons range at Fort Eustis, which boasts a pistol and rifle range.

After a request from the Fort Eustis community, coordination efforts brought the idea of a privately-owned weapons range to fruition, said Joseph Dumas, 733rd Force Support Division Community Services flight chief.

The range officially opened Nov. 22, 2013, and there has been nothing but positive feedback from its patrons, said Dumas.

"We coordinated with range control, the safety and legal offices, as well as other agencies to get this service up and running in just a few months," said Dumas. "In an era where certain services may not be available, it's a great achievement to be able to do something like this at really no cost, because we already had the resources."

Active-duty Service members, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and families are all authorized users and are able to sponsor one guest. However, before using the range, users must complete the range safety class, register their firearms and purchase a range card.

Range safety class

All firers must complete the range safety class through Fort Eustis' Outdoor Recreation to become a certified range safety officer (RSO). The class is offered the first Monday of each month, and availability is limited. Those interested must call Outdoor Recreation at 878-2610 to reserve a seat in the class. Upon completion, firers are given an AF IMT 483, Certificate of Competency, which is required before utilizing the range.

"Anytime you're dealing with military ranges, safety is paramount," said Dumas. "The range requires a 'two-man' rule, where the first person signing for the range will be appointed as the RSO. The [range safety] class allows you to become a certified RSO, which helps keep [operating] costs down because additional manning isn't required."

Firearm registration

After completing the range safety class, users must register firearms by completing AF Form 1314, Firearms Registration, which requires disclosure of specific information, including weapon type, make, caliber/gauge and serial number.

Forms will require a unit commander's signature for Service members in grades E-6 and below. The completed form must then be taken to the 733rd Security Forces Squadron Police Desk, located at 648 Washington Blvd.

"Registration promotes accountability for firearms coming onto the installation ... and also addresses the suitability of the owner to possess firearms in accordance with the Gun Control Act and Lautenberg Amendment," said Grant Dodge, 733rd SFS police supervisor. "Requiring a commander's signature for E-6 and below will give the commander oversight of the firearms [his or her] Soldiers and Airmen have on the installation."

Range procedures

Once users receive the AF IMT 483 and complete the weapons registration form, a $30 annual range card must be purchased through the Pines Golf Course Pro Shop, located at 3518 Mulberry Island Rd. Range users must also sign in and out with the golf course before and after range use.

After all requirements are completed, firers are then ready to use the range. However, private-use availability of the range varies based on the post's scheduled mission or training requirements. Firers can see an availability schedule on the 733rd FSD website, said Dumas.

Even though there are several requirements to complete, Dumas said it's all in an effort to provide a high caliber of service to the JBLE community.

"The fact that we were able to open [the range] after only two months of planning was a real testament to our coordination efforts," said Dumas. "Everyone involved realized it was a great thing, and we're looking forward to many people taking advantage of such a wonderful service. It's a great way to give back to those who serve."

For more specific information on authorized weapons and additional requirements, visit and click the link for the fact sheet.