Indoor Shooting Range Opens to Students in North Carolina High School

Students in the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Smithfield-Selma High School used the school’s new 1,200 square foot, six-lane indoor shooting range for the first time this week, according to a report on

Smithfield-Selma’s JROTC members hand-built the range over the last five months with $10,000 from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Predictably, the anti-gun media jumped all over the school’s decision.

“What will the students use to practice their shooting skills?” Inquisitr screeched. “Many experts have pointed out that gun ranges at high school is a very bad idea. Apart from the risk of nurturing a lethal killer, many have questioned about the immediate safety of other students due to the presence of firearms on campus.”

There’s just one problem. Students who use the range won’t be using firearms—they’ll be using Daisy air rifles and pellets. They’ll also undergo an extensive safety test and be required to observe strict safety measures while on the range.

“There’s a marksmanship safety test they have to take, and they have to get a 100 on it,” Commander David Wegman told WRAL. “In addition to that, they have to sign a safety pledge, get permission from home and then finally demonstrate on the range that they know how to handle one of these air rifles safely.”

The shooting range poses no threat, Wegman continued. “The procedures that we have in place ensure that we do the same thing, the same way, every single time.”

Only JROTC members are eligible for certification. Four are currently certified, though Wegman said he would like to certify all the seniors by the fall.

Inquisitr acknowledged these facts, but not before a little good-old-fashioned fear-mongering. “Given the rising instances of mass shootings in schools and the added danger of students carrying lethal weapons,” the author opined, “it is simply unwise to offer these impressionable minds a venue to improve their marksmanship without leaving high school premises.”

I imagine that could sound more condescending, but I’m not sure how. The author concluded with this gem:

“Amidst the rising incidents of gun violence on campus, experts stress it is not the guns, but the art of conflict resolution that should be handed to the students. Many argue guns and shooting ranges aren’t meant for high school students as these ranges teach a violent skill.”

Never mind the fact that members of the JROTC will likely need to learn marksmanship to defend Inquisitr’s right to publish such nonsense. Never mind the fact that air guns could never be used to perpetrate a mass shooting. Never mind the safety tests and adult oversight.

No, the anti-gun media will take any opportunity to push their agenda, no matter how ridiculous their arguments.

Kudos to the Smithfield-Selma JROTC. They’ve done a great job, and hopefully, other JROTC programs will follow their lead.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Andrew N March 18, 2018, 8:45 pm

    Sounds like the same rules I grew up with. We started with BB guns AFTER we could demonstrate safe handling and shooting practices, then moved up to .22’s, and so on. We were taught young the dangers inherent in firearms, and correct, SAFE practices for their use. We were also taught to respect ALL life, and not kill indiscriminately. What a strange concept! I can’t imagine my parents allowing any of these active shooter “games” into our house.

  • Chuck Foley April 17, 2017, 9:51 am

    In the late 70s early 80s I belonged to the JROTC program in my HS. We had a range and a rifle team shooting .22lr target rifle firing 3 position competitive target shooting. All participating students were taught marksmanship fundamentals and firearm safety. It gave me valuable experience when I joined the Army after graduation I wish my children’s school nowadays had this.

  • Bob April 24, 2016, 9:29 am

    They should be using something more accurate than a Daisy air rifles. A Red Rider is junk now. There are better choices out there.

  • Jim L Davis April 23, 2016, 8:06 pm

    As an old man (81) who had seen the transition of firearms attitudes it looks as if the pendulum is finally swinging back in the direction of common sense concerning firearms and young people shooting. I attended high school in Dallas, Texas, in the late ’40’s and early ’50’s. Junior ROTC was still compulsory for all male students and counted as PE because of the drill, PT, and SHOOTING QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED. Yes, rifle qualification was required of all male student in order to pass.. This was done on our own 50′ .22cal. rifle range in the basement of the High School. Girls were given the opportunity to also take riflery as a PE elective. Every High School in the Dallas Four A athletics program offered Marksmanship as a lettering sport. All this shooting was sponcered by the U.S. Amy Junior ROTC progam with additional support provided by the NRA. There was Not a single shooting accident in the history of this program.

  • John April 22, 2016, 10:46 pm

    I’ve never before seen such a blatant case of retarded fear-mongering before; and I thought I’d seen it all. But wait: the hard-left dictatorial hypocrites will soon top even this one! Granted, we can’t shoot them…can’t we just send them all to Australia where they’ll be happier and WE will be SAFE from their ignorant and intentionally myopic rantings?

  • hey April 22, 2016, 10:41 pm

    Communist lobbied anti gun agenda just want demise the gun culture any way they can, including getting rid of shooting video games. If there were no gun culture there would be no guns allowed. JUST DRUGS, INCLUDING THE PHYCHIATRIC DRUGS THAT IS LINKED TO MASS SHOOTINGS SINCE 2012, TERRORIST EXEMPTIFIED

  • Todd April 22, 2016, 3:33 pm

    ” Apart from the risk of nurturing a lethal killer …” What a comment in the story. These are JROTC cadets and maybe a few of them will decide to join the US Armed Forces at a later point in time. If they do, then they need to know how to shoot so that when the “bad guys” come calling, they can stop them. Having a range doesn’t teach anyone how to kill anything. With the right marksmanship tools and training, these students will be able to learn discipline, safety and how their own bodies affect the shot. Maybe get some bad habits identified and remedied early. Maybe demonstrations on a watermelon or jug of water (even using BB/Pellet rifles) can show devastation and this might be a wake up call to show students that guns can be lethal in the wrong hands. In the right hands and with the proper training, a BB/Pellet rifle (or any other firearm, for that matter) is no more dangerous than any other tool. The rifle/pistol doesn’t “kill” on it’s own. The heart/mindset controls whether a firearm kills and that comes from the individual holding the weapon. Twenty-two years military service and 8 years law enforcement experience giving my $.02 worth.

  • Campbell A King April 22, 2016, 2:42 pm

    Quite a few high schools now have trap shooting teams that kids can letter in..Wish there had been when I was in school.

  • tony garza April 22, 2016, 1:39 pm

    Back in the early 60’s I was on my high school’s ROTC program. We had an indoor .22 cal range under the gym. All ROTC cadets had to qualify with a .22 cal rifle. We even had shooting matches against other high schools in the San Antonio, Tx area. How things change.

  • John April 22, 2016, 12:33 pm

    Too bad they can’t use an actual firearm. Unfortunately using airguns is counterproductive to teaching safe gun handling.

  • Grady April 22, 2016, 12:25 pm

    So called “experts” think it is a bad idea!!!! I always heard that X (ex) is an unknown factor and that a spert is a drip of water under pressure. So an “expert” is and unknown drip under pressure. I doubt they know much…

  • Roy Sleeper CSM Ret. April 22, 2016, 12:15 pm

    When I was in High School in the late 60’s we had rifle clubs and inter school Rifle teams in NYState!
    I learned to schoot at Boy Scout Camp. Very important skill to learn, to handle firearms Corectly.
    Here in Clevland CountyNC, this week we opened a new outdoor Range with Rifle Range 23 points, 3 pistol ranges with 12 shooting Points, two Trap and Sket Ranges and a Archery range . Outdoor open to the public. $10 Daly and $5.00 for Vets.

  • JoeUSooner April 22, 2016, 11:04 am

    “Given the rising instances of mass shootings…” ?? What?

    In the last two decades (since 1993’s record high number)this nation’s episodes of gun-related violence – including mass murders – have DROPPED by more than half! Where do these two-watt-bulb-for-brains idiots get the idea that violence is increasing??? Are they so mathematically-challenged that they cannot tell a larger number from a smaller one? If not, they cannot be allowed out in public any more without a keeper!

  • Methane251 April 22, 2016, 10:06 am


    “It is simply unwise to offer these impressionable minds a venue to improve their marksmanship without leaving high school premises.” ???
    So, it is “unwise” to use these impressionable minds to teach them safe gun handling and marksmanship, but it’s OK to indoctrinate these same impressionable minds on a leftist liberal agenda as is being done throughout this country within the education system.
    Congratulations to the High School for implementing this program. I hope that it goes on to further training with at least .22 LR.
    One bit of constructive criticism on the video though:
    At 1:16 into the video. The American Flag is displayed in the background reversed left to right. Sure would have been nice to have had this corrected before filming.
    Keep up the good work JROTC, and thank you.

  • DG April 22, 2016, 9:25 am

    Anti gun idiots are very annoying!.. Guns use to be allowed on school property before clinton, and there were no problems. When I was in HighSchool, you would always see rifles in student’s pick up truck windows, especially during hunting season.

    There were never problems with school shootings until teachers stopped or were stopped from disciplining students, When God was taken out of school, and when guns were banned. It became a problem. And it wasn’t a “gun” problem, and it Still isn’t.

    Kids need to be taught RESPECT. and consequences for bad behavior.

    Allowing Law Abiding Citizens to have guns in schools doesn’t make it more dangerous, it makes it more protected! You don’t have to worry about a person who is legally carrying a firearm, they are not and will not be a problem or danger to anyone. IT is the evil person with no respect for anyone or anything, the ones that are intent on harming others. They are the ones you have to worry about. They are the ones who will not obey a law or care there is a law restricting something. They will break it, not caring and will do harm… So the only way to stop this is trained people with firearms to be the defenders of those who refuse to defend themselves… Fear in your enemy. Give it up and be safer!

  • Mike April 21, 2016, 11:52 am

    I’m getting really sick of these anti gun idiots

  • Will Drider April 21, 2016, 11:41 am

    “these ranges teach a violent skill.” Where is the damning article on Wood Shop teaching the use of a hammer or Home Economics that teach using a knife, Drivers Education is surely a link to DUI. Every math student must be a future embezzler and those in computer science are only going to scam, hack and bully others. I think that some of the anti gun crowd would even laugh at that article. The Inquisitr needs to poke its head out of their safe room so they won’t be so isolated from the real world.

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