SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) More than a dozen wildfires that have burned in Utah this summer were sparked by people out target shooting in the wilderness. But that outdoor shooting may become a restricted activity in several areas in Utah.
On Monday, Governor Gary Herbert announced that the state had the power to put restrictions in place on public lands. Governor Herbert said after studying the legality of the issue the state was empowering State Forester Dick Buehler to set up restrictions. Gun owners we spoke to have mixed feelings about restrictions. Freddy Cordova says "I guess we are all going to be punished for the mistakes of a few."
Cordova, an Army veteran, says any restriction on outdoor shooting is just that - a restriction.
"I think you're punishing the masses by the mistakes and the lack of responsibility of a few." He understands why the state of Utah wants to ban outdoor shooting in some places, but he says the real problem isn't the gun – it’s the gun owner who isn't paying attention."You should be aware of your surroundings at all times. It’s one of the basic principles of firing a weapon."
We caught up with Richard Wyatt right after a gun range session at Doug’s Sport and Shoot on Redwood Road. He's worried about outdoor shooting as well. "I love to shoot as much as the next guy, but ultimately I don't want to start a fire somewhere out in the middle of nowhere."
He blames a few for causing all the problems, but he also believes with current weather conditions it’s time for a break. "You kind of have to have some commonsense and say, look its really dry out here, everybody needs to take it easy for a little bit."
Based on the state’s announcement we know the practice of wilderness target shooting throughout Utah will be limited. Right now, we just don’t know where.