Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith supports keeping public lands open for use and encourages people to use safe shooting practices when engaging in shooting sports.
*** PRESS RELEASE *** March 8, 2019: As spring and summer recreation season approaches, Sheriff Mike Smith wants to echo the message recently published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding safe target shooting practices. (See attachment below.) While some small areas have ongoing regulations restricting target shooting, there are still thousands of acres of public land in Utah County that are still open for use by those who enjoy target shooting. The most well known areas where shooting is restricted in Utah County include Five Mile Pass Recreation area and the area south of Saratoga Springs to about mile marker 15 on SR-68, between Utah Lake and Lake Mountain. While these areas are restricted for target shooting, they are still open to hunting. Other public land is open to target shooting. Additionally, there is a new public shooting range that is nearing completion along SR-68 and south of Soldier Pass Road. This range is not staffed but is currently open to public use.
Sheriff Smith strongly supports keeping public lands open for target shooting. He also concurs with the BLM guidance on using safe shooting practices. In law enforcement, before we engage in any firearms related training, we always review four basic rules of firearms safety. If followed, everyone engaged in shooting sports will have a safe and fun experience. Those four rules are: 1-Treat every firearm as if it is loaded. 2-Keep your finger off the trigger until your eyes are on the target. 3-Do not point your firearm at anything you do not intend to destroy. and 4-Be sure of your target and what is beyond. Number 4 is critical. Several times every month during spring, summer, and fall, our Deputies respond to calls where people report gunfire landing near them. This happens because someone is not following rule number 4. They are not sure of exactly where their target is and exactly what is beyond, including over any hills at which they are shooting. Please practice these four rules of firearms safety and make sure your outing, whether alone or with friends and family, is safe, enjoyable, and memorable. And always pick up targets and shell casings when you are done. Please read the attached BLM News Release for further details.
If you have questions about where you can legally engage in target shooting, or about restricted areas, you can call Central Utah Dispatch at (801)794-3970 and ask to speak with a Deputy with the Utah County Sheriff's Office. For media questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: @SGTCannonPIO or @UCSO