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Great Swamp Shooting Range, RI’s only free, public outdoor shooting range, open for season

The RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has opened the Great Swamp Shooting Range for the season and welcomes sportsmen and women to use Rhode Island’s only free, public outdoor shooting range. The facility is open for the season and will remain open until November 1st.

Located within the Great Swamp Management Area in South Kingstown, the range has areas for three distinct disciplines: archery, clay target shooting, and paper target shooting. Public access and shooting hours are 8:30 AM-6 PM, seven days a week, including holidays.

Although the range is free to use, users must obtain a range permit beforehand. Click here for information on applying for a range permit.

Questions can be directed to [email protected]

“Our range supports the DEM Hunter Safety Education Program, which instructs hunters and sport shooters in the safe storage, transport, handling, and shooting of firearms and archery equipment,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Chief Phil Edwards. “Shooting accuracy and practice are critically important for ethical hunting and humane take of legally hunted game. Sighting in firearms, adjusting scopes, and simply practicing with targets are important and necessary steps to prepare for hunting.” 

Since its opening in 1976, the range has undergone several renovations, including in 2018 a complete $2.1 million redo that significantly upgraded both shooting opportunities and safety measures. It uses the latest industry standards for safety and management practices. Everything – from the bench design, baffles, and curtains between shooting stations – was designed to create a safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly shooting experience. Additionally, solar energy is used for powering the range office to help reduce energy consumption. The range provides a positive and structured environment for adults and youth alike to practice using a variety of firearms and archery equipment both safely and responsibly under the supervision of trained range officers. Shooting sports provide physical, mental, and social benefits to participants and help protect wildlife and natural resources.

Special taxes paid when firearms and ammunition are purchased have funded billions of dollars’ worth of conservation programs and wildlife habitat projects across the United States. No general fund taxpayer money is used to fund the Great Swamp Shooting Range, as its operating budget comes from taxes collected on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment that are distributed through the federal Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.

With the help of hunters and target shooters, DEM has protected thousands of acres for wildlife in Rhode Island, continued our research and monitoring efforts for both game and non-game birds and mammals, established a strong research partnership with University of Rhode Island, and continues to provide hunter education and wildlife outreach opportunities for the public. Without the contribution of hunters and sports shooters, DEM would not be able to conserve and protect our state’s wildlife. 

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow DEM on Facebook, X/Twitter @RhodeIslandDEM, or Instagram @rhodeisland.dem, for timely updates.

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