Nanaimo Rifle Range property: Trespassing announcement

Nanaimo Rifle Range property: Trespassing announcement

Lt(N) Pamela Hogan, Base Public Affairs Office ~

CFB Esquimalt is reaching out to the public to help eliminate the unauthorized recreational use of the Nanaimo Rifle Range property in order to safeguard the public.

To achieve this, information is being circulated that highlights the danger of encroaching on a live firing range area, with the goal of stopping the trespassing. The base is also enhancing infrastructure around the range boundaries.

A recent physical security survey of the range showed a significant amount of trespassing and the illegal installation of recreational infrastructure. Additionally, there is evidence of vandalism and non-military use of firearms within the property.

“While we regret and acknowledge past historic use, albeit unauthorized, of the area inside the Nanaimo Rifle Range, recent incidents and ongoing safety concerns require us to take action,” said Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd, Commander of CFB Esquimalt. “I have concern for the individuals and families that continue to trespass within this active, live-fire facility and urge everyone to respect the boundaries we have put in place. To date, we have had many positive interactions with the public who continue to be essential in helping to spread this message. We want to thank everyone for their cooperation and understanding as we take the necessary action to ensure public safety.”

While CFB Esquimalt acknowledges and is sympathetic to those individuals who have expressed concern about the enforcement of these boundaries, trespassing in this controlled access area is both against the law and dangerous. Range use encompasses live-fire training during the day, night, and throughout the weekend, and the severity of potential trespasser injury may be intensified by the remoteness of the area.

Members of the public may not be aware that the range footprint includes more than the physical range infrastructure of the firing lines and back stops. The Department of National Defence sets the danger area for each specific range based on factors such as ammunition type and direction of fire. This danger area maximizes safety by accounting for every mathematically possible bullet trajectory and corresponding landing location.

CFB Esquimalt has reached out to local user groups to offer opportunities to safely remove and salvage their unauthorized infrastructure by closing the range from May 16 to 20 and have added June 1 as an additional opportunity due to public feedback.

The Base Commander asks that the public respect the security measures that are in place, and to ­understand they exist for their safety.

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