Southern Alberta Firearms Education Society (SAFE Society) was formed to offer firearm education to people of all ages with a special focus on young or first-time firearm users. There are three groups we will endeavor to serve; 1) the first-time and youth firearm user, 2) the recreational firearm community and 3) occupational firearm users.
For the first-time / youth firearm user we will offer a series of inexpensive firearm experiences. The intent is to provide an inexpensive, safe, fun firearm experience in a clean, welcoming environment. If these first-time / youth individuals enjoy this experience and want to become more proficient and more involved with the safe use of firearms, we will refer them to the recreational firearm community.
The recreational firearm community will have designated nights to use the facility for their shooting discipline. First-time / youth firearm users who wish to try this shooting discipline will be welcomed out with active recreational firearm community members for more fun with firearms, more skill development, some friendly competition and camaraderie.
A third group to benefit from this facility will be the occupational firearm users. Many of the agencies who require their employees to wear firearms in the performance of their occupations have expressed interest in this facility.
The actual facility constructed will vary with the resources we can attract and the type of building materials we select for construction. At a minimum, the facility will have a classroom, a lounge / safe area, a small retail facility leased to a local business and the indoor shooting range itself. The ideal solution would see the indoor shooting range have a 6 position 25 meter range, a 6 position 50 meter range and a 2 position 100 meter range.
The construction costs vary considerably with the building materials selected (from $35. per square foot to $89. per square foot). Following is a concept drawing of this facility. Although we are still fine-tuning the facility construction details and researching other options, we know that we can build a viable, safe, long-term facility with our budget of $750,000.
We will attract this budget amount from three sources, 1) Support from the chartered clubs and individual donations, 2) Grant money and 3) support from the City of Lethbridge.
Funds donated for the construction of this facility will create a long-term asset for our community, enhance firearm safety in our community, help shooting sports to thrive in Southern Alberta and ensure our residents enjoy the greatest number of safe shooting opportunities possible.
Four charter organizations (Chinook Country Shooters Club, Lethbridge Fish and Game, Lethbridge Fish and Game Handgun Club and Lethbridge Revolver Club) identified two needs of our community and began discussions as to how to meet these needs. The first need was to enhance firearm education opportunities to make them more accessible and more meaningful. The second need was to create year-round shooting opportunities for our community. After many discussions, the charter clubs determined that a new organization was needed to meet these needs.
Southern Alberta Firearms Education Society (SAFE Society) was registered through the Alberta Societies Act (corporate access # 5010332327) on February 24, 2003. CCRA has also granted SAFE Society registered charity status (Reg# 896363504 RR0001) so we are able to issue official receipts for income tax purposes.
The City of Lethbridge has been an invaluable partner with SAFE Society and are assisting us in determining the optimal site selection for the SAFE Society Firearm Education Centre / Indoor Shooting Range.