Illinois budget cuts almost affect world championship shooting e - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois budget cuts almost affect world championship shooting events

(Hank Cavagnaro, KFVS) (Hank Cavagnaro, KFVS)
SPARTA, IL (KFVS) -

It’s the world Championship for the Amateur Trapshooting Association held in Sparta, Illinois. The even t has been held here for 11 years and the ATA's head quarters are located their as well. The event draws a huge crowd each year of professional and youth competitors.

“Biggest in the world, it’s the largest shooting event in the world," said Lynn Gipson, the executive Director of the ATA. "There will be over 4 million targets shot at over the next 17 days”

Teams travel from all over the country to be able to compete here. Some as far as Australia. But Bruce McGaha brings his team from Tennessee

“We like coming here, there’s plenty of room for the trap shooters and there’s a sporting clay sports over here and it’s fantastic,” said McGaha. “They need to keep this place open, I don’t know, [even] if they have to raise [the entry fee] $5 a shooter.”

Gipson says that they now have a back up plan in case the state closes the doors like it threatened to this year. 

“We have a memorandum of understanding with the state that if something were to happen to the facility that we would step in and do what we needed to do to make sure that our tournament’s here," said Gipson "That makes out industry members and our local business comfortable.”

This event will go on 17 days this year but Gipson is wanting to make it bigger next year and still keep it in Illinois.

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