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Scoping In on Safety

Area shooting ranges provide loads of rules, instruction and supervision.


For families interested in gun safety, weekend lessons are available at several shooting ranges in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

A list of ranges is available through the National Park Service's Visitor Information Center in Agoura Hills, including several sites that provide supervised instruction and shooting practice for individuals, families and 4-H Clubs. To get the list, call (818) 597-9192.

An element of the 4-H Club's program is 40 hours of classroom learning that culminates in a 100-question written test.

Tom Watt, owner of A Place to Shoot in Saugus, said he stresses these rules in preparation for range firing: Always point the muzzle of the gun in a safe direction; keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot; and load only one round in the magazine when you shoot.

Lessons are available by appointment at Watt's range, as well as the Firing Line Range in Burbank and Northridge, the Gunshop in Lancaster and Angeles Shooting Range in San Fernando.

The cost for individual lessons ranges from $40 to $50 for a daylong session. Group rates are generally available.

At the Lancaster range, two-Saturday courses of five hours each are offered for $12 a person. Darlene Dudley, a spokeswoman for the range, said youngsters must take a written test before they are allowed to use the range.

Some ranges sell ammo but do not rent guns. Some, such as the Firing Line, offer free gun rental as part of its membership program.

The Target Range in Van Nuys, which is not on the Park Service list but offers basic firearms instruction certified by the National Rifle Assn., rents a wide variety of guns.


Gun safety lessons at various ranges in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys on weekends and some weekdays. Hours and fees vary. Angeles Shooting Range, 12651 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, San Fernando, (800) 499-4486; A Place to Shoot, 33951 Francisquito Road, Saugus, (661) 296-5552; the Firing Line Shooting Range, 1060 N. Lake St., Burbank, (818) 954-9810; Firing Line Shooting Range, 18348 Eddy St., Northridge, (818) 349-1420; Gunshop Inc., 44633 Sierra Highway, Lancaster, (661) 942-8377. Target Range, 16140 Cohasset St., Van Nuys, (818) 787-4373.

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