Gun club is possibility

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Several Manila men in Manila are looking at the possibility of starting a local gun club. Tony Hawkins, Donnie and Kent Wagner and Jimmy Veach want to get the word out to see if there is enough interest to go forward with plans.

Manila men starting preliminary plans for a local gun club are, from left -- Jimmy Veach, Donnie Wagner, Kent Wagner, and Tony Hawkins. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

They want a skeet and trap field.

Veach, who is in the process of moving back to Manila, has been a member of the Newark Gun Club in Walnut Ridge since 1981.

"It is very popular," Veach said. "I have shot all of my life and started skeet/trap shooting many years ago and enjoy it."

The men said the gun club is something parents and children can enjoy together.

"Safety is the big issue," Wagner said. "A lot of people like to shoot and this would offer a place for their hobby."

"Some people like to play golf or other activities and we just enjoy getting out and wasting shotgun shells," Veach said. "Some gun clubs require members belong to the National Rifle Association but we just want to form a local group."

Hawkins said they would like to encourage young people to be involved.

"Eventually we would like to see a school team," Hawkins said. "Sixty schools in the state of Arkansas have a trap team. There is state and national competition at the high school level. Our town spends a lot of money on the ball fields giving our young people something to do. This would be just one more activity for our citizens of all ages."

Wagner said this is something parents and children can do together.

"We want to set it up right," Hawkins said.

If the interest is there, they will begin looking at a safe spot and the equipment.

"I think we can get labor and materials donated but we will need machines," Wagner said. "It takes one for the trap field and two for skeet shoots."

They estimated the machines would cost a total of $15,000.

If they find enough interest, they will hold a meeting in the near future. Anyone interested in being part if a local gun club can call Hawkins at 930-5716; Donnie or Kent at D&K Feed Store 561-4611; or Veach at (501) 940-7156.

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