NewsMar 29, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall
Amid the increasingly heated debate on how to keep firearms out of America's schools and colleges, Liberty University, which already encourages lawful gun ownership and allows guns in student dorms, opened a massive, multimillion-dollar gun range on Monday for student activities and hosting competitions. The Lynchburg, Virginia range is slated to be open to the public later this summer.
LU, America's largest Christian university, has already seen more than 3,000 students complete the free firearm safety courses offered through its police department as a prerequisite to using the new range.
Liberty’s planning coordinator, Brad Butler, shared with Fox News that the 600-acre, state-of-the-art range is modeled after the NRA Whittington Center in New Mexico. The upper half of the range has shotgun venues, which include skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities. The lower section of the range features rifle, pistol, and three-gun ranges in a valley located on the other side of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, a year-round ski and snowboard slope.
"Our president, Jerry Falwell Jr., and his father, Jerry Falwell, Sr. have a saying that ‘if it’s Christian it should be better,’" Butler said, "so we’re going to make it not only safe and competitive, but beautiful."
The Falwells' slogan isn't far off-base at all. With the additon of the range, Liberty is now the only American college campus with a venue fit for all Olympic shooting sports. Once the range project is fully completed, LU hopes to be one of the most luxurious facilities in the world.
“Jerry Falwell, Jr. is definitely a visionary when it comes to developing collegiate programs and activities that the students really want to be engaged in,” Butler continued, “and without his bold leadership and the support of the Second Amendment, we probably wouldn’t be developing a project as nice and sophisticated as this.”
Dave Hartman, LU’s shooting sports team coach, said the range provides a “rare opportunity” for students.
"I got introduced to a whole new world up here in competitive shooting and it's been awesome," said sophomore Landon Dalton. "Coach Hartman has really helped us out a lot. He's a very godly man and a great coach and he's helped us grow as teammates and as shooters, but, more importantly, as better Christians."
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