Code Enforcement Officer Jack Maker replaces warning signs at a ‘bandit’ shooting range overlooking Monashka Bay. Jacob Resneck/KMXT photo
Across public lands on Kodiak Island are numerous makeshift shooting ranges. These so-called bandit ranges often look out over open water or face residential areas. Now the borough is trying to clean up these sites and discourage unsafe shooting. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck reports.
— (shooting pkg) 2:27 "Borough Code … In Monashka, I’m Jacob Resneck."
Borough Code Enforcement Officer Jack Maker is posting signs at one of many so-called bandit shooting ranges. He staples the laminated signs to trees pockmarked with bullet holes.
Walking along these sites near Monashka Bay, shell casings, broken glass and litter from ammunition boxes literally crunch underfoot. Looking over the water Maker says he’s disturbed by the apparent lack of common sense by people firing weapons towards roads, trails and out to sea.
The signs posted by Maker are often riddled with bullets, tossed into piles or have vanished altogether.
There are safe places to shoot. Just a few miles down the road is a shooting range operated by the Kodiak Island Sportsman’s Association.
Licensed firearm instructor Neil Horn says he’s seen roadside shooting and it’s often unsafe.
By contrast, the KISA range has a backstop designed to absorb bullets that won’t send strays ricocheting. Membership to the ranges operated by KISA $65 dollars a year.
The legality of the bandit ranges is murky. Troopers encountering people firing toward houses or roads or boats often caution shooters though tickets are apparently rare, though people can be charged with reckless endangerment.
In Monashka, I’m Jacob Resneck. ###