Teens and youth interested in guns and learning to shoot will find a lot to explore at the American Legion Post #241 on Bluffton Road.
Meeting three times a week (Monday and Wednesday evenings after school and Saturday mornings), there are about 15 teens who belong to the club – including five or six girls.
No teen is charged for use of a rifle, or for the class – everything is donated by the Sons of the Legion, the Womens’ Auxiliary, the Honor Guard or the Legion Riders.
The team’s five or six coaches teach each youngster the basics of their weapon, how to fire it properly, and – most importantly – the safety of shooting. The teens use pellet guns and BB guns for their target shooting, which is done upstairs in the building at 7605 Bluffton Road.
A cavernous old room once used for storage is now where the youth come target practice. With a painted-gray floor, red tape demarks the lines for shooting. Targets are 33 feet away from the firing line, or about 10 meters.
Young shooters are scored on their accuracy, according to how close their shot is to the bullseye.
“You don’t understand how rewarding it is working with these kids,” Stephen Epperson, League Coach of the Gun Club said. “It pays back in ways you can’t count.”
“It’s all about the kids,” Vice said. “If we don’t do anything else but set them in the right direction in life, we’ve accomplished something.”