Montana Laws related to Shooting Range Funding

from the Montana Codes Annotated

     87-1-276. Purpose. The purpose of 87-1-277 through 87-1-279 and this section is to create a continuing program and mechanism to provide funding, through the department, to private shooting clubs, private organizations, local governments, and school districts for the establishment and improvement of a system of shooting ranges throughout Montana.

   87-1-277. Shooting range development grants.  A private shooting club, private organization, unit of local government, or school district may seek a grant for a shooting range development project.

     87-1-278. Grant criteria. (1) An applicant for a grant pursuant to 87-1-277 shall provide matching funds in either cash or in-kind contributions. The match must represent $1 in value for each $1 of the grant. In-kind contributions include but are not limited to labor, materials, and real property. Existing assets and existing shooting range development may not apply to the match.
     (2) An applicant that is a private shooting club or a private organization must be a nonprofit corporation pursuant to Title 35, chapter 2, with an organizational structure, officers, directors, and a registered agent.
     (3) A grant must be used for the purchase of real property, earthwork, fixed improvements to existing shooting ranges or ranges being established, or reasonable grant application expenses. A grant may not be used for any expendable supplies for a shooting range.
     (4) To be eligible for grant assistance, a private shooting club or a private organization:
     (a) (i) shall accept in its membership any person who holds or is eligible to hold a Montana hunting license and who pays club or organization membership fees;
     (ii) may not limit the number of members;
     (iii) may charge a membership fee not greater than the per-member share of the club's or organization's reasonable cost of provision of services, including establishment, improvement, and maintenance of shooting facilities and other membership services; and
     (iv) shall offer members occasional guest privileges at no cost to the member or invited guest and shall make a reasonable effort to hold a public sight-in day each September, when the general public may use the shooting range for a day-use fee or at no cost; or
     (b) shall admit the general public for a reasonable day-use fee.
     (5) A private shooting club, private organization, unit of local government, or school district that accepts a grant under 87-1-276, 87-1-277, 87-1-279, and this section shall provide the department with a future interest, providing that upon the discontinued use of its shooting range facility or its dissolution, the assets of the facility revert to the department. The department may hold the property indefinitely pending identification of a new entity to operate the facility. If a facility funded under 87-1-276, 87-1-277, 87-1-279, and this section is sold for a use other than a shooting range facility and the sale proceeds are not reinvested in another shooting range facility within 1 year of the sale, the entity that sells the facility shall reimburse the grant program for all funds received under 87-1-276, 87-1-277, 87-1-279, and this section.
     (6) To be eligible for grant assistance, the applicant shall allow safe shooting of hunting arms. Hunting arms include shotguns, archery equipment, black powder arms, rifles, and pistols.
     (7) An entity receiving a grant shall allow use of the facility by hunter education classes for no fee.
     (8) A unit of local government or a school district shall compete on an equal basis with other applicants and shall provide access to its facility for a reasonable fee to any person holding or eligible to hold a Montana hunting license.

     87-1-279. Program rules. (1) The department may not use more than 15% of the program funds for administration.
     (2) The department shall develop a simple application procedure and accountability system.
     (3) The department shall make every effort to expend or obligate funds for shooting range improvement grants within the year for which they are appropriated.
     (4) The department shall prioritize grant applications according to those that provide facilities for the greatest number of shooters, that accommodate the use of a combination of hunting arms, and that meet other criteria established by the department.
     (5) The department may not grant more than 30% of the eligible funds for the establishment or improvement of any single facility in any year.
     (6) The department shall promote the use of publicly owned land for shooting range facilities. The department may negotiate with federal, state, and local agencies to encourage land trades, shared or specific use designations, and other mechanisms to provide land for shooting range facilities.

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