Great Swamp Shooting Range

Learn more about private shooting ranges.

NOTICE

The Great Swamp Shooting Range is closed to the public until the Spring of 2023.

New Policy/Procedure Manual

New and returning users, please review the Great Swamp Shooting Range Policy and Procedure Manual.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is pleased to welcome sports men and women to the Great Swamp Shooting Range, located within the Great Swamp Management Area in South Kingstown. The range recently underwent an improvement project that significantly upgraded both shooting opportunities and safety measures at Rhode Island’s only public shooting range. It was funded entirely by revenue generated from the federal Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and hunting license receipts.

Completed in late-summer 2018, the Great Swamp Shooting Range uses the latest industry standards for safety and management practices. Everything from the bench design, baffles, and curtains between shooting stations was designed to create a safe, comfortable, and environmentally-friendly shooting experience. Additionally, solar energy is used for powering the range office to help reduce energy consumption.

The improved range includes 50-yard and 100-yard shooting lanes. Both the 50-yard and 100-yard shooting lanes have been outfitted with overhead safety baffles and earthen backstops to prevent bullets from exiting the range. The baffles are covered in mortar board to prevent ricochets and muffle the sounds of gunfire. A specific reason that the Great Swamp range was upgraded is to allow gun owners to practice using their centerfire rifles safely and responsibly under the supervision of trained range officers.

The DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife allows the following types of firearms to be used at the improved range: handguns, shotguns, rimfire rifles, centerfire rifles, muzzleloader rifles, and air guns. Non-permitted visitors are allowed but they may not handle firearms and are not allowed on the firing line. DEM staff and Range Safety Officers are the authority concerning all matters involving range operation and safety. Participants must heed all range commands without hesitation or risk expulsion from the facility. The range is not open unless a Range Safety Officer is present.

The range supports DEM’s Hunter Safety Education Program, which instructs hunters and sport shooters in the safe storage, transport, handling, and shooting of firearms. Shooting accuracy is critically important for ethical hunting and humane take of legally hunted game. Sighting in firearms, adjusting scopes, and simply practicing with targets are important and necessary steps to prepare for hunting with any firearm. The range provides a positive and structured environment for adults and youth alike to learn to use a variety of firearms.

    Stay Informed

    Location: 

    The Great Swamp Range is located within the Great Swamp Management Area at: 277 Great Neck Road, West Kingston, RI 02892. Continue past the office complex and follow the signs to the range.

    Hours/Season: 

    THE RANGE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.  Regular in-season operations: 8:30 AM to 6:00 daily from early April through early October. Hours of operation may vary due to staffing, training activities, maintenance activities and/or environmental conditions. Check back for updates for the 2023 season.

    Contact: 

    Call 401-575-6331 (M-F 8:30AM - 4:00PM) or email the Range Supervisor at Branton.Elleman.CTR@dem.ri.gov. Direct mail to: RI Division of Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Office, 1-B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822.

    Policy and Procedure Manual

     Permit Applications

    Frequently Asked Questions: Great Swamp Shooting Range

    The Great Swamp Shooting Range is operated by the Division of Fish & Wildlife and offers public target shooting on a seasonal basis. A free permit is required prior to use. Non-permitted visitors are allowed but they may not handle firearms and are not allowed on the firing line.

    The Great Swamp Range is located within the Great Swamp Management Area at: 277 Great Neck Road, West Kingston, RI 02892. Continue past the office complex and follow the signs to the range.

    Firearms allowed at the range include handguns, shotguns, rimfire rifles, centerfire rifles, muzzleloader rifles, and air guns. The Division of Fish & Wildlife reserves the right to allow or disallow additional types of firearms as deemed appropriate to facility modification or use.

    Target range regulations can be found on the Secretary of State's website under section 1.33 of Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations (250-RICR-100-00-1).

    Call 401-575-6331 (M-F 8:30AM - 4:00PM) or email the Range Supervisor at Branton.Elleman.CTR@dem.ri.gov. The secondary contact is the Great Swamp Office at 401-789-0281. Please direct all mail to: RI Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Office, 1-B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822.

    Permit Applications are available:

    For New Range Users:
    It is mandatory to obtain a range permit before using the Great Swamp Shooting Range. The application period is from February 1 through September 20 of the calendar year.

    Instructions for New Range Users who are Adults (Age 21 years or older):

    • Complete the application
    • Attach a copy of a government-issued picture ID (such as a state driver’s license)
    • Attach a copy of your gun safety credentials such as:
      • State-issued Hunter Education Card
      • Valid, state-issued, firearms hunting license
      • DEM Pistol/Revolver Certification Card (Blue Card)
      • Valid, RI Department of Attorney General Pistol Permit
      • Active Duty Military ID
      • Retired Military DD214
      • Equivalent Certification as determined by the RI Division of Fish and Wildlife
      • Have your signature notarized. Notarization is available at most banks and town halls and is also offered at the Great Swamp Office at 401-789-0281 and at the Hunter Education Office at 401-539-0019. Please call ahead.
      • Mail to address indicated on the bottom of the form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

    Instructions for New Range Users who are Minors or Under Age 21

    • Parent or guardian must complete the application.
    • Parent must attach their photo ID.
    • Parent signature must be notarized. Notarization is available at most banks and town halls and is also offered at the Great Swamp Office at 401-789-0281 and the Hunter Education Office at 401-539-0019. Please call ahead. 
    • No gun safety credential is required of a minor applicant, but they must be supervised by a permitted adult when using the range. 
    • Mail to the address indicated on bottom of form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.
    • Once a minor reaches age 21, they must provide gun safety credentials and apply using the 21+ application.

    Range permit holders are required to renew their permit and attend a range safety briefing every 5 years.

    Instructions for Adults (21 years or older) to renew their permit:

    • Complete the application.
    • Attach your expired permit and a copy of a government-issued picture ID (such as a state driver’s license)
    • Mail to address indicated on bottom of form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. Notarization and gun credentials are not required for renewals.

     Instructions for Minors or Under 21 to renew their permit:

    • Parent or guardian must complete the application.
    • Attach expired minor permit.
    • Mail to the address indicated on the bottom of the form along with a stamped envelope. Notarization is not required for renewals.
    • Once a minor reaches age 21, they must provide gun safety credentials and apply using the 21+ application.

    Qualified applicants and renewal applicants will receive a letter indicating the dates and times of the range safety briefings. Please note: Incomplete applications will be returned with a letter of explanation.

    Both new users and renewals must attend a Range Safety Briefing in order to obtain your range permit. The Range Safety Briefings are held throughout the season at the Great Swamp Shooting Range and generally last less than one hour. No appointment is necessary. Adult applicants MUST bring a photo ID in order to participate in the Range Safety Briefing. Anyone age 21 and under must attend in the company of a parent or guardian.

    Your permit application will remain active for 2 range seasons (April to October). If you fail to attend a range safety briefing in that time frame, you must reapply.

    Adult (21+) Range Permits are issued for five years. Minor and Under age 21 Range Permits are issued for five years unless the applicant will turn 21 within that time frame. The minor’s permit will expire on their 21st birthday, at which time they must apply using the Adult (21+) application.