August is National Shooting Sports Month

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is inviting all recreational shooters to celebrate National Shooting Sports Month in August.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), formed in 1961 to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports, created the first-ever nationwide celebration to encourage participation in the shooting sports genres and emphasize firearms safety.

“Recreational shooting is a safe, fun activity enjoyed by millions of Americans,” said Mike Raum, the department’s shooting sports branch chief. “Whether you’re new to recreational shooting, someone who shoots regularly or enjoys competing in tournaments, or just sighting in your firearm for a hunt, join us in celebrating the month by visiting a local shooting range.

“Better yet, take a friend along to enjoy the pastime with you.”

The shooting sports can provide a lifetime of enjoyment with family and friends. It’s a safe, fun activity enjoyed by an estimated 50 million Americans, according to the NSSF. The world-class Ben Avery Shooting Facility, one of the nation’s largest publicly operated shooting facilities, drew more than 225,000 recreational shooters in 2016.

While the facility will be closed for several improvements Aug. 14-29, recreational shooters are reminded the nearby Ben Avery Clay Target Center will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday. The center is closed Mondays through September.

There are nine other shooting facilities located throughout the state, owned by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. There also are dozens of independently owned and operated ranges, which can be found at http://wheretoshoot.org/index2.cfm.

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