UPDATE - 1/30/20 - "Sign the Petition" and a little news

Mark Valetta, the man behind the petition that has garnered over 10,000 signatures so far, has posted an update that gives us some insight into the quiet machinations of the county's effort to re-open the range to the public.

"I am pleased to report that our commissioners reached out to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and are in negotiations to have an innovative County/State partnership put in place. Both the County Commissioners and the Wildlife Staff have been very receptive to the public organizers.  In a meeting I attended earlier this week with Wildlife staff, we were very pleased to have earnest conversations about the future of the range. I am very confident that this range will remain a publicly accessible facility for generations to come.  But we do not let down until that outcome is realized. We're not done until that's a done deal! "

Cause for optimism to be sure but as Mark says, it ain't over until it's over.  If you haven't already signed the petition please do so NOW.  It's important that the Commissioners and the Wildlife Commission be kept aware that there is still great interest in keeping this range and the training available and open to the public.

Read the whole thing HERE.

1/26/20 - No news is probably good news.

First and foremost, thanks to all the new subscribers that signed on for updates.  It's good to know so many of our neighbors continue to be interested in the outcome of these deliberations.

As the title of this post suggests the fact that there's really nothing to report is probably a good thing.  Meetings are no doubt being had, phonecalls flying about, but nothing concrete really.  There's so much potential in that facility. Let's hope we can come up with an amenable solution for all involved.

Stay tuned. 

UPDATE - 1/21/20 - Keeping the faith - Video

There was another meeting of the Wake County Commissioners that was open for public comment and the shooters of Wake County were heard (again) and well-represented by over a dozen speakers.  The particulars, agenda etc, are available HERE.  VIDEO of the meeting is HERE and below. The speakers for the WCFETC start around 1:03 and end at 1:44. 

Three themes emerged in the comments:

1)  It is important to have the public represented as a stakeholder in all  further discussions.

2)  A reminder the the facility was in fact built for the public.

3)  The ladies would like very much to have their range and the ladies'-only programs back. 

Thanks to all of you who made the effort to be downtown early on a Tuesday afternoon to help save the public hours at Wake Range.  Special thanks to Parry Ketchmark for his deft organizational skills keeping hope alive. 

If you want to keep up with events then hit the email subscription link in the right hand column.  We'll let you know what happens as we find out ourselves.

1/18/20 - Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.

This sign has been there since at least yesterday morning.  It took over 3 weeks to change the public website but they got that sign up in four days. 

UPDATE – 1/15/20 – Where do we go from here?

Sometime today, RSM senior management will head over to the range one last time to pick up the paperwork and odds and ends that constitute the company’s property remaining at the FETC.  I would imagine that the flood of memories and the awkward glances from WCSO staff you used to consider friends will make it uncomfortable for the fellas – this is not how they deserved to go out.  Just shameful.

If you watched the video from Monday’s work group you know that there are still many questions left unanswered. It will be interesting and instructive to keep an eye on doings at the WCFETC to see how it all eventually shakes out.  Will they, in fact, continue to offer public access to the range or will Sheriff Baker get his dream of an LETC free from the vermin of the public (BTW, aren’t LEO’s citizens just like non-LEO’s?).  If public hours are offered, will there be more than the 20 hours a week offered by RSM or fewer?  [ED: My personal opinion – there WILL be public hours.  There will be four of them between 8am and noon on Sundays, twice a month] Does my range card still get me in or do I need to pass another orientation to use the range?  Do the annual members get a discount or refund?  Any updates on that $100,000 Feasibility Study? And of course, how will the range become MORE  profitable if you’re running it FREE to the public? 

We here at WakeRange.com will be stepping back from the daily monitoring of the situation but we’ll not step down. 8500 people signed Mark Valetta’s petition, WakeRange.com has been accessed 2000 times, 300-ish people actually showed up for the Commission meeting on the 6th – that’s a lot of folks with a passion for keeping the range accessible and safe for the shooters of Wake County.  That’s also a lot of eyes and ears that can watch and listen for updates on circumstances at the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center.  Over the next several weeks and months if you see or hear of any developments please ping a quick email to ProfoundMan@Gmail.com or tweet to @TheProfounds .  We’ll continue to update this site as a resource for all concerned. Also, we’ve listed the email addresses of each of the County Commissioners on the website for your convenience.  It seems important that they be kept informed of the consequences of their actions as time goes by. 

It has been a true pleasure and honor serving as your RO’s, Instructors and friends over these many years.  The warm memories will be with us always.

Be safe, have fun!

UPDATE 1/13/2020 - Goodnight RSM - Public operations of WCFETC cease until further notice.

It's not hard, after watching the video of the work group of the Wake County Commissioners, to conclude that the fix is in and in fact has been for awhile.  RSM was treated like yesterday's news, the Sheriff is the highest priority for most if not all the Commissioners, the NC Wildlife Commission rode in on a white horse to save the day for the public except they're going to have to find out from the WCSO which days they can save first.   Further, it's not clear whether or not the Wildlife Commission will be teaching CCH classes, NRA classes, hosting leagues or even fielding the "1 RO per range policy" that RSM adhered to.  Does my WCFETC card still get me into the range during whatever public hours are allowed? What about my annual membership payment - do I get a refund? When and how will I know when the range is again open to the public? So many questions...

One thing that as of this evening is clear, the thousands-member family that was the Wake Range and RSM is over.  The range as most know it will cease operations tomorrow, Jan 14th at 9pm. Damn shame that.  Those people, that place, those times constituted a sense of community that those who are fond of publically preaching about "the community" can only aspire to.  Respectful gratitude is due to Fred, Fritz and Eric, the owners of RSM, for (almost) 20 years of service and fun for the shooters of the entire region.

ABC11 is reporting that Kyle Briggs, deputy director for N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has made the following statement:

"A partnership is truly a joint activity where we're not being paid for our services. We're providing this to the public," said chief deputy director for NCWRC Kyle Briggs. "Obviously, our shooting ranges that we operate are always free to the public to use. So that would be our goal in this partnership."

If we are to take Sheriff Baker's requirement that the public hours be profitable to the county seriously, charging the public $0 an hour as opposed to the $12 an hour the range get's now (that's cheap btw) is going to be an accounting nighmare for someone. Should be interesting...

There will of course be more to report over the next several weeks (and probably months) as we learn how and when the range will again open to the public.  If you want to keep up with events then hit the email subscription link in the right hand column.  We'll let you know what happens as we find out ourselves.

UPDATE: 1/10/20 - Monday's Agenda-" direction on future use of the facility"

Work Session Agenda 01-13-2020.pdf


I. Update on the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center
Kelli Braunbach, General Services Administration

On December 18, 2019, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office announced its intention to close the Firearms Education and Training Center to the public. Beginning in January, Wake County government will assume responsibility for operating the firing range. Wake County staff have been evaluating short-term and long-term options for reopening the range. Commissioners will receive the information and provide direction on future use of the facility and staff proposed recommendations.

1. Presentation


UPDATE: 1/9/20 - Wake County gun range vendor fires back at sheriff’s claim

As Mr. Stough so adroitly points out, it's hard to make a business profitable when you have absolutely no control over anything affecting profitability.

Nicely done, Fred.


UPDATE: 1/8/20 - Comments from Commission Chairman Ford and BONUS CONTENT !

Chairman Ford would like to make any interruption to the public short-lived and at least mentions the possibility of working with the existing vendor.



Former Wake County deputy files wrongful termination lawsuit against sheriff, claims retaliation

Just a misunderstanding I'm sure.   

UPDATE: 1/6/20 - Commissioners Meeting

The room was full.  There are reports the "overflow" room was pretty full too.  A low-key Sherrif Baker was in attendance. 33 speakers , couple of hours, the range effort acquitted itself well.  County Manager Ellis let it be known that the range is to be closed temporarily and more will be known about the future of public access to the WakeRange at the meeting on the 13th.  Keep an eye on this and watch the livestream of the meeting on the 13th.

I gotta say as an observer that is was fun to watch.  Everyone was respectful and on point.  First, a large and uncontrolled Atta-Boy! to the Commission.  We said the Pledge of Allegiance and then prayed. I kinda' wasn't expecting that.  Also unexpected was the Commissioners going well beyond the customary time limit for public comment.  And all that done in a warm, professional style.

If you're a WakeRange denizen as I am, it should come as no suprise that our side handled themselves admirably.  Lot's of facts presented by people who have a reason to know the facts.  The WakeRange/RSM family can (and should) be proud.  

And it wouldn't be right not to give a shout-out to this lady:

She was there to talk about their effort to stop the development of the Odd Fellows tract and took the time to urge the Commissioners to save the public access to the Wake Range. It was epic!

THIS IS NOT OVER! It should be pretty quiet on this front for the next week or so but it seems we will certainly know more - perhaps much more - on the 13th. As they say, stay tuned.

URGENT: Commissioners UPDATE : Livestream Links

A message from Wake County Government:

Because of your interest in this issue, Wake County would like to update you on the next steps with the Firearms Education and Training Center.

  • Monday, Jan. 6 – The training center will not be a formal item on the agenda at the Wake County Board of Commissioners meeting. However, residents can come before the board to speak about any topic during the public comment period, which will occur around 5:30 p.m. Residents are asked to sign up to speak prior to the 5 p.m. meeting start time. The county will also live stream the meeting online at https://wake.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
  • Monday, Jan. 13 – County Manager David Ellis will update the board during its 2 p.m. work session regarding the timing of reopening the range and the options under consideration for a range operator. There will be no public comment period during this meeting; however, you can attend or watch the live stream on our website at https://wake.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks so much!

Communications Director
Wake County Government
Communications Office


WCFETC Instructor and Range Officer