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Rapid City Shooting Range Gets Second Shot in SB 175

In response to her embarrassing failure to line up a second for her marquee copycat abortion ban, Governor Kristi Noem complained that House State Affairs violated its somehow sacred guarantee that “every bill gets a hearing.” Her complaint is bogus, of course: House State Affairs was dealing with Noem’s draft language, not an actual bill. House State Affairs declined to turn her litigation-wrecking national campaign ploy into a bill.

But to balance things out, the Legislature is going to give one Noem bill two hearings. House Bill 1049 sought to build the Noem-endorsed Rapid City shooting range. House Agriculture and Natural Resources killed that poorly planned proposal last week. But on Monday, Senator David Johnson (R-33/Rapid City) revived the shooting range in Senate Bill 175. The language is exactly the same: $2.5 million from the general fund, another $2.5 million in spending authority for Game Fish and Parks to raise and spend private donations toward the projected $12 million total cost, and an emergency clause to ensure no one can refer the project to a vote and stop the GF&P from rolling donors and bulldozers this spring. (No word in the bill, though, about whether GF&P can really conscript the National Guard to build its bullet berms.)

SB 175 notably includes Senate President Pro-Tem and dealmaking king Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska), who, and avid shooter himself, may be looking to recreate his epic father-son tour of every golf course in the state with a comparable tour of every gun course in the state.

Noem’s shooting range will get its second chance from Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources, on which sits Senator Gary Cammack (R-29/Union Center), who represents the Meade County ranchers whose land and livelihood would be disrupted by this big-shot recreation project. Perhaps those ranchers will want to buy Cammack a drink this weekend and fill him in on whether Noem and GF&P done anything to improve their shooting-range plan since its first death two weeks ago.


  1. Richard Schriever 2022-02-04 06:35

    Prediction; just as with her shooting caged pheasants and missing (who knows how many takes it took?) in making her hunting promo ad, she won’t be able to bring this bird down with 2 shots either.

  2. Matthew k 2022-02-04 07:57

    There is a man in rapid city that has had his bisness plan for two ammonium plants and a high indoor range shot down by the legislature and now stolen the gfp why is this gov so interested in competition with the private sector

  3. Jake 2022-02-04 09:54

    If she’d only try half as hard to insure livestock producers of her state got a “fair shake” on the open market more of her constituents would be justified. perhaps. voting for her! But no, she’s more interested in who’s going to the bathroom in the ‘wrong’ stall, who might want an abortion in case of rape/incest, spending Biden bucks while denigrating him big time and running for national office (out-of-state so often). A sham governor if there ever was one.

  4. marvin kammerer 2022-02-04 10:46

    we need good roads to our urban centers.we need hospitals staffed by good nurses & doctors / we need good teachers in all our schools .we need good police & sheriff’s protection, that is part of our social needs, & and we pay for it, mostly with taxpayers money. that is a good social contract, socialism if you will .bad socialism is using federal & state tax money for the building a rapid city range in meade county for private entertainment for a few & further harassment to those who live in this area .sooner or later meade county is going to further tax it’s land culture to sustain this monkey business with law enforcement & people to clean up the area and maintain roads ect. i’m afraid after the newness wears off ,it will be another mistake of the game,fish & parks & our state government . we deserve better. some of our famileis have occupied this land well over 100 years .the game fish & parks didn’t come & talk to any of us before the state fish & wildlife foundation bought the 400 acres from cassens . the fish & wildlife foundation is funded by j. scull & others who use the 5o1,c3 to lighten their tax load.

  5. RST Tribal Member 2022-02-05 06:21

    The bill wants money and purpose for “building a shooting range to serve western South Dakota”.

    Back in 2001, the city of Sturgis, South Dakota and a group of private investors plan to build a sports complex and shooting range just four miles north of Bear Butte. They have already spent $250,000 of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) money on the project spearheaded by William J. Janklow, R-S.D.

    Concerns about the proposed shooting range include:
    > The sound of an estimated 10,000 rounds per day being fired from rifles and handguns will disrupt the silence and serenity of people from more than 60 different tribes who come to pray at Bear Butte, as well as non-tribal people who visit to enjoy the tranquility, beauty and power of the butte.
    > Increased traffic to the new development by patrons and employees, and to a clubhouse, motel, and restaurant that are being planned.
    > Increased air pollution caused by firing 10,000 rounds of ammunition per day.
    > The sounds and activity will disturb birds and wildlife in the Bear Butte area, and in particular, the eagle, which is important in Native American spirituality and ceremonies.
    > Possible effects on patients at Fort Meade Veterans Administration Hospital from the sound of distant gunfire.

    Yep, a few short years ago the quest to shoot up the country side was the quest of private investors and killer US Rep Janklow wanting to partner up with a local government. As any politician knows keep trying until you succeed. What has American’s Governor grinning are the private investors who will become her political contributors.

    Now, to get those inept inbred Republicans running the show in Pierre to get off their hands and pass her contributors bill.

  6. jerry 2022-02-05 07:24

    NOem just found some more money to waste. This money is supposed to cap orphan gas and oil wells, how much ya wanna bet she steals it for some lamebrained vanity project? Of course, our little dummy sits on the ventriloquist’s lap to do their bidding of global warming.

    “The White House on Monday announced new steps to help curb emissions of methane, saying it will send $1.15 billion to states to clean up thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells that leak the powerful planet-warming gas.” Washington Post 2.5.22 (Paywall)

  7. ABC 2022-02-06 13:31

    Socialism for the shooters. A waste of money.

    Every stupid shooting range that gets set up should be offset by a Nonshooting range same acreage. Run by GFP as a park, no weapons on the premises. Non gun owners are 51% of the population.

    Did Democrats vote for this in Leg? Hope not.

  8. JW 2022-02-10 23:23

    If you’ll notice the marketing rhetoric in the article published by SDPB last week prior to House Ag and Nat. Resource sending HB1048 to the 41st Day, one can’t help but recognize that this white elephant isn’t going to be a recreational shooting range. This range, at least in part, will be one of those “tactical” set ups that is the precise training ground for the 3 Percenter and Proud Boy types that we have in WSD. I know a couple and they aren’t any different than what we’ve seen in Michigan and elsewhere. This blasted thing will be a breeding ground for gun militants throughout the Midwest and SD State Government will be their primary enabler. Listen discriminatingly to the justifications and uses these people are marketing to sell this thing if you think I’m exaggerating.. They propose, among other things, that this range will serve EAFB and law enforcement agencies region wide yet both EAFB and LE agencies already have their own ranges and have had for years. Why should SD State Government build ranges for the military when they have their own, in there own installations, and have budget to build or remodel new if they so choose. In RC, the Nat, Guard has both indoor and several outdoor ranges available for use by the military and law enforcement. If the military needs a range let them build a pay for it! Proponents say the range will serve hunter education and safety yet the Outdoor Campus West combined with the Rapid City Trap Club have teamed up to provide 5 hunter education classes per year, at minimal cost to the state of South Dakota for over 25 years.
    We already have a first class range in Fall River County near Maverick Junction that is under utilized, open to the public, operated at no cost to the public, maintained by volunteers and has everything this proposal mentions except tactical bays and 1400 yard capability. 800 yards max. So the excuse Pennington County and Meade County gun freaks use against this range is it is too far to drive and cost too much money in gas. If you say, special interest socialism, you would be spot on. These people are as disingenuous and deceptive as the day is long. State money is going to flow into a couple of contractors pockets on this deal and it should be obvious who it is.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-02-11 06:38

    JW, that’s scary to think the state is building a training ground for the right-wing militias. I suppose we could take hope that if they are too lazy to drive to Fall River County to practice, they’ll be too lazy to drive to Pierre to stage any real insurrection.

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