At least three dozen lawmakers took a break from the Legislature on Thursday to do a little shooting in the country.
The Legislative Shootout, as it’s called, is an annual event hosted by the Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club in Littlerock. Lawmakers and their staff were invited to shoot pistols, rifles, and shotguns at the large outdoor range.
Firearms enthusiast and vocal gun rights proponent Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, helped organize the event. Roach said more than 60 legislators had planned to attend, but some were held up in committee hearings or skipped because of the gray clouds and constant rain.
“I’m just thrilled so many came out to participate,” Roach said. “This is an Olympic sport, a family sport, and we just want people to see that.”
Range instructors had multiple stations set up, including .22-caliber Ruger pistols, AR-15-style rifles and larger-caliber rifles, such as the M1A — a civilian version of the M14. There also was trap-shooting station where people could test their skill at shooting moving targets.
Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, tried her hand at a number of different firearms, but said she liked the M1A the best.
“It was a blast,” Brown said. “It’s kind of intimidating at first. That thing has some real power. But you kind of get used to it. Super fun.”
Brown said that while she had a lot of fun, she’s not exactly a pro. “I own my mistakes,” Brown said. “Only two hit the firstname.lastname@example.org