Shooters react to proposed closure of World Shooting Complex

Shooters react to proposed closure of World Shooting Complex

SPARTA, IL (KFVS) - The latest series of budget cuts announced by Illinois governor Bruce Rauner would suspend operations of the World Shooting Complex in Sparta Illinois.xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /

The governor's announcement consisted of more than $420 million in statewide cuts, which includes the suspension of all operations at the 1,600 acre complex, effective September 1st 2015.

The governor originally proposed a budget earlier in 2015 which was highly controversial due to what cuts included which were widely regarded as 'severe'.

In response, a new budget has moved through the house and senate, but the administration claims that one leaves the state at a $4 billion deficit..

That latest budget proposal is yet to be approved, and if lawmakers can't come to a compromise by July 1st, the state will be operating with no budget at all.

"In preparation for the possibility of having no budget on July 1, or a budget with a $4 billion hole, the Administration is initiating its second round of steps to responsibly manage the state's finances." The governor's office stated in a press release on Friday.

The complex was completed in 2006, and has since become the site of the annual "Great American Trap Shoot" which annually pumps $15 million into the southern Illinois economy.

Administrators with the World Shooting Complex in Sparta were unavailable for comment.

“I think it's important to realize that this is one of the premiere places in the world to come and shoot at.” Said Iowa resident  Scott Briell, who regularly visits the complex. “I drove four and a half hours to come down here this weekend, and this is my second trip down here in the last month.”

14 year old Justin Teeter often attends events at the complex with his youth shooting team based in Okwaville, Ill. He says shooting is a big part of his potential livelihood, and the loss of the complex would greatly affect the shooting community.

"I just want to have a bright future." Explained Justin, "There are college scholarships going around for trap shooting, and I'd like to get one for trap shooting so I have my college paid for."

For a list of events at the complex, click here.