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September 21, 2014

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With Tea Party in town, Harry Reid helps open shooting park

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Justin M. Bowen

Sen. Harry Reid shoots his personal 12-gauge shotgun during the grand opening of the Clark County Shooting Park in Las Vegas Saturday, March 27, 2010.

Clark County Shooting Park

Sen. Harry Reid unloads his personal 12-gauge shotgun during the grand opening of the Clark County Shooting Park in Las Vegas Saturday, March 27, 2010. Launch slideshow »

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Clark County Shooting Park

As the Tea Party Express rolled into Searchlight on Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wasn’t home. Instead, he spent his morning at the grand opening of the Clark County Shooting Park, firing a shotgun at one of the facility’s new ranges.

“Everyone has said this is the greatest park in the United States of America, but I say it’s the greatest gun park in the world,” Reid said.

Reid helped to secure land and $61 million for the 2,900-acre facility under the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act. He was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday by National Rifle Association of America Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, Rep. Shelley Berkley, Rep. Dina Titus, state Sen. John Jay Lee and Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins.

Reid practiced shooting at one of the ranges, firing six rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun and hitting two clay birds. Each clay bird busted into pieces and the crowd cheered as Reid reloaded the gun. Collins also fired several rounds.

Shooting at the park, on the northern edge of the valley, costs $7 per day for rifles, pistols and archery and $6 per 25-bird round for shotguns.

It has an archery range and building with a 30-seat classroom, a rifle and pistol range, and a shotgun center and 80 spaces for recreational vehicles.

LaPierre said the park is expected to be a tourist attraction with 35,000 to 40,000 people expected to participate in shooting activities each year.

“I know how you worked,” LaPierre said to Reid before turning back to the audience. “(This) would not have opened without the work of Sen. Reid.”

Since the park first opened on weekends in January, Lee said more than 4,000 shooters have participated – which he called a significant amount considering the range hasn’t been advertising.

The park will also be used for educational purposes, Collins said. Many youth groups have visited the park to learn about shooting sports and gun safety, he said.

Michael Reese, 15, said he has been shooting for seven years and visits the park every other weekend with his father. It’s become a tradition for the two of them, he said.

“It’s a very nice facility,” Reese said.

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