The new McHenry State Shooting Range set up by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has something for everyone and strives for accessibility.
Only recently finished, the range in the Perkinston area, is about an hour north from the Gulf Coast hubs of Biloxi and Gulfport.
MDFWP released the above video on Thursday, showcasing the complex’s attributes. You see, this isn’t just dirt pit somewhere where you shoot at old kitchen appliances, but a state of the art center that includes 60-yard pistol, 200 and 100-yard rifle, archery, trap, 5-stand and skeet ranges.
Although it is maintained by the state’s conservation agency, it’s not just for the average Fudd, as they offer basic and enhanced concealed carry classes (remember, the Magnolia State has constitutional carry– open or concealed– without a permit so long as you have the handgun in a holster and are able to possess it).
But what does it cost? Annual use permits are just $42.29. Seniors are $22.49. Basic handgun classes start at $17.66 to cover the cost of targets.
The reason the costs are so low is that, like all states and territories, Mississippi benefits from the Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937. Commonly referred to as Pittman–Robertson after the two lawmakers pivotal to its passage, it uses an excise tax levied on all firearms and ammunition sold or imported into the county to perform conservation-related tasks as varied as restoring elk habitat to funding safety programs, and establishing public shooting ranges.
Paid for by manufacturers and producers, the fund has been pushed into overdrive in recent years because of a spike in gun and ammunition sales.
In 2014, $760 million was apportioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the states from Pittman-Robertson funds. This is more than twice the $371 million allocated in 2012.
In 2015, $1.1 billion was made ready.
This year, another cool billion was distributed and you can expect 2017’s figures, with record gun and ammo sales this year, to be through the roof. Which will likely translate into more jam up public shooting ranges like McHenry around the country.
“State wildlife agencies play an essential role in the conservation of America’s wildlife, while also generating billions of dollars for the nation’s economy through increased hunting and fishing opportunities. It’s fitting that those very sporting activities help sustain wildlife, their habitats and the agencies that manage them,” said USFWS Director Dan Ashe in a statement previously emailed to Guns.com. “Our role in administering these funds reflects our long-standing partnership with the states across a broad spectrum of wildlife conservation issues.”