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Promoter claims Houston County officials want to nix competitive gun shooting

He proposes the shooting facility at Chattahoochee State Park, an obscure recreation area that has been closed since Hurricane Michael devastated it in 2018.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 6:16 AM CDT
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A man promoting skeet shooting at a desolated state park in Houston County claims there is an effort to kill his plans.

“I have certainly run into a wall with elected officials,” said Dr. Ricky Plummer, whose involvement is a personal matter unrelated to his church ministry, he stresses.

He proposes the shooting facility at Chattahoochee State Park, an obscure recreation area that has been closed since Hurricane Michael devastated it in 2018.

“I represent an organization called Scholastic Skeet Target Program. We teach fifth graders all the way through college,” Plummer told News 4 on Monday.

He believes this facility available to all ages would create healthy competition and teach gun safety but also wonders why others are not on board.

Houston County Chairman Mark Culver, he claims, is among those stymieing his efforts.

“I would say that is totally inaccurate and I resent the fact that Mr. Plummer says that, frankly,” Culver reacted.

Culver promises no decision on the site will be made until there is money to restore the park, once a hidden gem 25 miles southeast of Dothan.

“We have $300,000 in the bank right now that is designated for repairs,” said Culver.

And there are expectations that the Alabama legislature will appropriate another $1.7 million, possibly this year.

Only then would there be sufficient resources to restore Chattahoochee Park and perhaps fund construction a skeet shooting range.

“I think the commission and legislator’s role will be to determine what the use is going to be,” Chairman Culver told News 4.

While the $1.7 million would presumably come from American Rescue Plan funds, Dr. Plummer believes there is a more viable option.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 could pay for skeet shooting facilities as it has in Florida, where there are eleven public ranges compared to none in Alabama.

Plummer believes he is receiving blow back from more than public officials, claiming affluent owners of property adjacent to Chattahoochee Park also oppose his plans.

“I don’t understand how three or four landowners can dictate how the state and county uses 600 acres,” he said.

Culver admits one person has publicly objected and others are also opposed, but stresses all options will be considered and parties on all sides of this issue will be heard from before final decisions are made.

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