Press Release and USSC Alert to Members
EXTREME FIRE DANGER- USE COMMON SENSE!
Shooters are being blamed for accidentally starting 20 wildfires in Utah already this year.
Interpreting that statistic at face value we have 95% of the 400 man-caused wild fires in Utah this year
were NOT caused by shooters. Regardless, every Utah shooter needs to do their utmost to prevent
dangerous and costly fires.
USSC is the state's strongest advocate for safe and legal use of firearms and being able to shoot
in as many places as possible. However, common sense demands that we all exercise extreme caution in
extraordinary weather conditions. That includes cancelling some shooting events, and NOT shooting in
the desert when it is not safe. If in doubt, don't shoot!
Some politicians and people with an anti-gun agenda are using the fires as an excuse to call for
new laws outlawing shooting in many parts of the state. The first areas to go will be those that have been
traditionally safe for shooting.
We must take every step possible to prevent such unnecessary and ineffective laws from
passing. Responsible people will use common sense without need for new laws. Regardless, a few
careless, unthinking people will ignore both common sense and any laws and start fires by fireworks,
camping, shooting, smoking or other fire causing actions when they should know better. If you see
someone acting in such a manner, speak up and let them know. For most it only takes a reminder.
Especially during "Red Flag" fire danger conditions, USSC urges everyone to plan your shooting
activities that avoid firing in or from any vegetated areas, especially those with dry grass or shrubs
anywhere near where bullets will hit. Although ignition from bullets is rare, it can occur, and conditions are
just too dangerous right now to risk that. In addition, anyone who starts a fire (even accidentally) can be
forced to pay the costs of fighting the fire and any damages. That can run into millions of dollars.
Check the weather and use common sense when planning outdoor activities. Forget about
outdoor wild land shooting on hot, dry, windy days. Instead use an established, maintained shooting
range. Pay attention to bans on campfires, BBQs, and be alert for hazardous conditions even if there are
no official bans in place. We encourage safety, common sense and good judgment and preparedness
while recreating outdoors. In the summer months in Utah extra care should be taken in the use of
campfires, smoking, fireworks, hiking, the use of off roads vehicles as well as shooting. Remember to
hydrate yourself and use sunscreen, and follow all other hot weather precautions in all your outdoor
If you have an area where you shoot, this would be a good time to clear away all the vegetation
anywhere near the targets or impact area. If your established range is not doing that, organize a work
party to correct it. If you plan to shoot, then include plans for fighting any fires that might accidentally start
in your area. Take along a fire extinguisher, extra water, a shovel, and a cell phone in case you need to
call for help.
And, you might want to review conditions around your property to ensure there is a "defensible
space" around buildings in case a fire starts nearby.
As a reminder, it is illegal to fire any tracer ammunition in Utah except on military ranges.
Remember, 380 of the 400 man-caused wild fires in Utah this year were started by people OTHER THAN
SHOOTERS, but politicians and anti-gun folks are targeting shooters for new limitations. Do your part
NOW to stop bad gun laws! And, if bad laws do get introduced, USSC will lead the charge to defeat them!
And when safe to go shooting, take your whole family and include someone who has never shot before
and introduce them to the sport!
Utah Shooting Sport's Council strongly encourages the Governor and Legislature to resist the
urge to legislate any new gun restrictions where clear communication of the problem and public
education on the issue, along with Utahns exercising their own good judgment will suffice.
Thank You Sincerely,
Chairman Utah Shooting Sports Council
If you are not a member of USSC we strongly encourage to join at no cost, visit www.utahshootingsports.com
"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
- Thomas Jefferson
Utah Shooting Sports Council Board Member