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Published June 14, 2012, 10:04 AM

Minnesota DNR to test rifle training in state parks

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are considering holding firearms safety training in state parks.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are considering holding firearms safety training in state parks.

It's to accommodate a growing demand for classes. In the three years the course has been offered online, enrollment has grown from 2,000 to a predicted 6,000 to 8,000 this year.

To test the idea, they will let students this fall shoot .22-caliber rifles in classes at a state recreation area and a wildlife management area.

DNR Captain Mike Hammer says any shooting will take place under strict supervision in closed-off areas. He says the average park user won't notice.

The Star Tribune reports if the trials go well, the training may be offered at Fort Snelling State Park, William O'Brien State Park near Stillwater and other large state parks.

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