By Joseph Greenleaf
The sounds of gunfire and howling winds; the smell of gun powder and barbeque; adrenaline-pumping hand-to-hand combat training; costumes and competition – all accompanied the annual Nebraska Firearms Owner’s Association meeting in Grand Island on August 22, 2015.
It was my first annual member meeting, and also the first time I had visited the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island. If you weren’t there, you missed a great time! Vendors provided us with sub-machine guns to try out, precision rifles to shoot, cowboy action shooting, and various other gun-related and self-defense activities throughout the day.
Our President, Rod Moeller, brought us up-to-date on legislative issues that impact gun ownership in Nebraska. We heard from various speakers like Steve Hornady, President of Hornady Ammunition which happens to be just up the road in Grand Island; Thomas Howard and Ardi from Precision Response; Shawn Whittington Jr. along with Kelsey and Dave from 88 Tactical (who told us they’re building a $5MM shooting facility between Papillion and Gretna!!); Dick Clark, a Lincoln lawyer and candidate for the State Legislature who spoke about firearms trusts, NFA weapons, ATF transfer taxes, and the differences between the various classes of NFA weapons, (like AOW ‘Any Other Weapon’, machine guns, and so forth); Nebraska Senator Bill Kintner, and Jeff Rawlinson from Nebraska Game & Parks (minus his fish hat). Our speakers were followed with the long-awaited drawing for the H&K VP9, along with various other goodies donated by our sponsors.
• Toby Asplin/Trek Tech Black. (www.trektechblack.com)
• Rise Armament (www.risearmament.com)
• Spec Ops Gear (www.specopsbrand.com)
• Armageddon Gear (www.armageddongear.com)
• Midwest Leather Works (https://www.
• LASR (www.lasrapp.com)
• DE Guns (www.deguns.net)
• Naber’s Locked and Loaded (www.naberslockedandloaded.com
• Thunder Alley Indoor Shooting Range (www.thunderalley.us)
• Andy Stebbing (www.frontierdvds.com)
• Handyman Joe’s (http://handymanjoes.com)
After the morning meeting, a great BBQ lunch, and the raffle drawing, the range events hosted David Thomas & David Petta from Silencer HQ, DC Precision LLC, Terry Fitzgerald and Mustang Greg from the Single Action Shooting Society, Alex Gac from the U.S. Practical Shooting Association, and Sean Naylor of Eastern Nebraska Practical Shooters
The shooting park itself was quite spectacular. Trap, skeet, rifle, pistol, sporting clays… Just about everything. There are even concrete pads for campers, trailers, and RVs, with electricity and water for less than $30.00 a night.
My phone tagged the photographs I took as being taken at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant. Sure enough, the old buildings were part of that facility, which made artillery shells and ammunition for Navy guns during World War II. Most of those buildings are long gone, but it’s interesting history for a shooting range.
I got to let loose with a couple of clips with a Thompson submachine gun which brought back memories from my Coast Guard days… long ago and far away. My lovely bride, Karlene, went through the cowboy (cowgirl?) shooting course at steel silhouettes, shooting a .45 Colt S&W Scofield revolver, a .45 Colt lever-action Winchester and a double-barreled 12-guage shotgun. She’d never fired any of them before, but hit them all! I must be more careful with my so-called “humorous” remarks from now on…