OGDEN -- Ogden residents have not had a shooting range in several years, but one could open as early as 2014 if a recent purchase approval between Weber County and Swanson Tactical Training Center comes to a successful conclusion.
The property, which is at 2520 Rulon White Blvd. in Ogden, is one of a few options being discussed by a range committee that was formed earlier this year by Weber County Commissioner Kerry Gibson.
"Our range committee is going to continue to determine what this facility might have to offer versus some other things they had in mind. This came up a little unexpectedly, since the folks at Swanson had decided they wanted to sell the property and came to us," Gibson said.
Currently, Swanson Tactical Training Center is used by law enforcement, military, public safety and homeland security agencies not only for firearms training but also for WMD training and humanitarian aid preparation. It is not open to public use, but that is something Gibson hopes will change, should it become Weber County property. STTC could not be reached for comment.
"Right now it's just for law enforcement training, but ideally it would become a dual-use facility. That doesn't mean we won't use it for training as well, but there will need to be adjustments made," Gibson said.
Because the purchase is subject to a due diligence period, plans to start the retrofitting of the facility are still preliminary. The period ends Dec. 1, and until then the range committee will look at the pros and cons of the facility's location. One danger of shooting ranges is lead contamination, but Gibson said he is pleased the committee was able to find an area that is relatively private.
"There are no homes close by, so noise and traffic will not be a problem. The good thing is that this is a familiar area, since it has been there for seven years, so a lot of people in law enforcement who will be using it already know it well. It fits in nicely with the area. There will need to be some retrofitting, of course, but it will be minor," Gibson said.
Although there are still other considerations, such as putting together a financing package for whatever improvements the range will need as a dual-access facility, Gibson feels that the effort he has put into getting an Ogden shooting range is paying off.
"I am very excited about it. I think it has been needed in our community for a long time. We think this is a good fit for Weber County citizens, and we are really looking forward to making this happen," Gibson said.
Should the due diligence period pass smoothly, the committee hopes the range will open in 2014. Anyone who wishes to know more about STTC can visit the website at www.swansontactical.org, and people who wish to follow further developments can visit the Weber County Commission's site at www.co.weber.ut.us/commission.