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MN – TRAINING – Changes in lead regulations may doom Willmar indoor gun range

The future of the indoor gun range at the Willmar War Memorial Auditorium is in doubt after the federal government changed its standards on lead contamination. The standard for allowable lead dust in the air is being lowered from its current 50 parts per million to 10 parts per million. Mayor Marv Calvin says the best they’ve ever seen during the bi-annual cleanings of the range is 20 parts per million. One possible solution might be to require shooters only use the more-expensive bullets that don’t contain lead. Calvin says the fees collected for use of the indoor range do not come anywhere close to paying for its maintenance. He says the city would entertain offers by private businesses to buy the gun range equipment and set up a gun range elsewhere. It’s expected the council will get recommendations on the future of the gun range sometime in the near future. The gun range opened in the basement of the auditorium 1979, and underwent an extensive renovation including a new air handling system in 2014. It was closed briefly in 2017 when new shot-absorbing blocks were installed in the back wall. It is used for open shooting, safety classes, and permit to carry instruction classes.  [full article]

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