KALAELOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Off the road that leads to White Plains Cottages in Kalaeloa, a fence line guards what used to be a firing line.
"Rather than watch weeds grow, I'd like to see the private sector get involved and offer the city a chance to make revenue," City Councilman Tom Berg said.
Berg envisions a shooting range at Kalaeloa so gun owners on the West side can practice without driving all the way to the shooting range at Koko Head.
"The city has shortened the hours on the range and the number of shooters has increased every year. It's very difficult for them to get time to practice, and practice is what makes safe shooters," said Harvey Gerwig, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association.
In August the city took inventory of 570 acres in Kalaeloa, old Navy land that's covered with overgrowth. Berg wants to turn five acres into the shooting range.
Ewa historian John Bond said the military used the same spot for its target practice. Some of the evidence still litters the land.
"We found one of the cartridge clips from an old World War II rifle," he said.
Berg wants a private entity to step in, clear the area, and build a gun range so the city won't have to spend money for maintaining the property.
"We want to have the private sector meet all those concerns, have the proper berms and noise mitigation put in," he said.
Gerwig carries a map of the site in his smart phone. He said the area is ideal for a shooting range.
"The more remote it is the better in terms of noise," he said.
Berg said as soon as he fired off his idea for a West side range, gun enthusiasts fired back.
"I had roughly 43 hits on Facebook within a half hour," he said. "There is such a need. I didn't know it was that severe."
The city Parks Committee discusses the idea Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.