Koko Head Shooting Complex closed for remediation work on rifle range

By Brenton Awa
Published On: Jan 13 2014 06:01:00 PM HST

Gun enthusiasts expected the rifle range renovations to be completed by now but air quality and safety issues are holding up the reopening.

Click here to read Brenton Awa's article.

HONOLULU -

The entire Koko Head Shooting Complex has been shut down for remediation work on the site's rifle range.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's story.

The city originally estimated work on the rifle range to be completed by early January but after running into a safety issue, crews weren't able to start on site until Monday.

Nobody's heard the crack of gunfire at the Koko Head rifle range in more than a month. The city closed the range in early December, and hasn't opened it back up since. There's be an issue with air quality for the workers because of the lead from bullets but things are back on track now.

The rifle range was already due for renovation but after two reports of stray bullets landing in a residential area nearby, emergency improvements were necessary.

"They've got to look at safety first and they have to react to that which I think they've done in a pretty fast matter, not fast enough for some folks, I understand that, but for a government to respond that fast is pretty darn good," said Harvey Gerwig, President of the Hawaii Rifle Association.

The city will use sand from Kailua that has been sitting in huge mounds on the side of Lihiwai Road. It will be used as fill for the rifle ranges field area and the eroded backstop.

"They need to create a safe environment and that's what they're doing," said Gerwig.

But users of the city's only public rifle range have been left wondering when they can return.

"It's a hobby for many of us, it's also in preparation for hunting, you need to be able to verify your sights before you go hunting to be ethical," said Gerwig.
An official reopening date for the rifle range has yet to be announced.

"What I would ask the people to do is to be patient, let the city do what needs to be done. They're saying now that they'll be open as soon as the end of this month, January and failing that early February," said Gerwig.

Signs have been posted up at the range saying the Koko Head Shooting Complex will be closed from January 13th through the 29th because of remediation work.

However, the city could reopen portions of the complex aside from the rifle range earlier depending on the contractors air quality tests.

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