Shooting-range access targeted

ATLANTA --- A House bill would strip licenses from indoor and outdoor shooting ranges if they don't make their facilities wheelchair-accessible.

Though state law requires all manmade or developed public areas to be handicapped-accessible, House Bill 420 specifically adds sports shooting ranges.

It is sponsored by Rep. Burke Day, R-Tybee Island, the only member of the General Assembly who uses a wheelchair.

Limiting ranges is discriminatory and bad business, an Augusta range manager said.

"They should be able to get into any facility that is open to the public," said Steve Meldrum, manager of Pinetucky Gun Club, which has been handicapped-accessible since opening 22 years ago. "I would think you'd want everybody to come, so why are you going to limit access?"

Mr. Meldrum, whose niece uses a wheelchair, hosted Paralympic athletes at his range before the 1996 Olympics.

The bill is likely to come up for a vote today before the full House.

COLLEGE BUILDINGS

ATLANTA --- The construction of all college buildings would be overseen by the same state agency that supervises work on other government structures under House Bill 700. The bill, which will get a floor vote today, would strip authority for construction from the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia.

All planning and construction would be overseen by the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission.

Reach Amanda Woodruff at (404) 589-8424 or amanda.woodruff@morris.com.