BPPJ revokes Arcadia Gun Club’s access to local gun range property

By Paige Nash

The Bienville Parish Police Jury unanimously decided to revoke the Arcadia Gun Club’s access to property previously used as a gun range, located at 21221 Highway 9 in Arcadia, just south of Bonnie and Clyde Trade Days property.  

This decision was followed by a lengthy discussion between the jurors and Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance.  

BPPJ Secretary Rodney Warren said, “Recently, we have had some issues out of what is now the defunct Arcadia Gun Club and in light of those events and after speaking with the District Attorney, the sheriff’s office and all of you, it was determined that the best course of action was to revoke the Arcadia Gun Clubs access to the property which we commonly refer to as the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office pistol range.” 

The Arcadia Gun Club was established in 1988. The club was originally made up of many members from Arcadia as well as other parts of the parish, but in recent years most of the group has consisted of members from Lincoln Parish who travel to Arcadia to use the gun range. Reportedly this group has showed favoritism to their 4-H club, denying access at various times to the local Bienville Parish 4-H group. 

Sheriff Ballance said, “Just prior to what happened out there the other day, the 4-H people had gotten in touch with me, and said they wanted to be able to shoot down there when they wanted to shoot, and they were being second fiddle. I don’t think that’s right when it’s in Bienville Parish.” 

Secretary Warren informed the jury members that he had already drafted a letter to be sent to the Arcadia Gun Club pending the passing of this agreement between the BPPJ and the sheriff’s office.  

He said, “I have already drafted a letter, informing the Arcadia Gun Club that they are to cease and desist all activities on our property and the jury hereby revokes all access by the Arcadia Gun Club to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office.” 

 After entering into this new cooperative endeavor agreement between the BPPJ and BPSO it was concluded that the property would now be referred to as the Bienville Parish Firearms Training Facility. 

Sheriff Balance already has plans underway for the new facility by using 10 percent of the sheriff office’s budget that is dedicated to benefit youth in the parish.  

He said, “We can have a shoot over here. Bossier has a shoot and they have different sheriff’s offices sponsor their teams along with the 4-H. I see nothing but good coming from this. We would be proud to sponsor it and be a part of it.” 

The BPSO hopes the general public, as well as local organizations will utilize the property.  

 “We want to make sure that everyone has a safe environment, and they are safe when they are on the line,” said Ballance. “We have 3 range masters that we will have down there, at least one of them, every time they shoot. Anybody that shoots down there, there has to be a range master,” said Ballance.  

The BPPJ plans to share liability with the BPSO and have intentions of working towards an agreement with the local 4-H organization. 

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