Lawmakers take aim at annual shoot

Legislative teams of three tally points for 'top gun' status

Posted: Sunday, March 28, 2010

Normally straight shooters on the House and Senate floor, members of the Alaska Legislature looked a little more 'rifled' on the grounds of Saturday's 12th Annual Legislative Team Shoot at the Juneau Gun Club Range.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

"The main thing is to come out and support the club and have a good time," said Juneau Rep. Cathy Muñoz, who with Terry Harvey and Tom Boutin made up team Muñoz Militia. "It's an event that gets a lot of people together in support of hunter education and the great programs provided here. Plus, I am aware of a lot of legislative teams so we will be keeping an eye out for who will have some better clout on the floor after this is all over."

Each member of three-person teams competed at three shooting stations using handguns, shotguns and .22 rifles. There also was an optional archery station for bonus points. The Alaska Correctional Officers Association and the Juneau Shooting Sports Foundation hosted the event.

"Bragging rights," ACOA volunteer Bill Bonne said as to the reason why legislative teams participated. "Everybody gets to brag about who was top gun."

Twenty-two teams competed last year with a high score of 975 by team Papa Patton, composed of correctional officers.

Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, brought some family fire power to Team Tuck for the event.

"I'm a lifetime member of the NRA and a Democrat," Tuck said. "My son was captain of the riflery team this last year at West High School so he is here with me today. I'm bringing in the heavyweights. It's just good times and experience."

So Devon, who plans to join the University of Alaska Fairbanks rifle team next year, said, "When I shoot with my dad, it is definitely a competition between us. I am a little more experienced so I score better, which feels good."

The gun range resides on state land that many of the legislatures helped fund.

"I think a lot of this is just letting people appreciate what the range is for," said Alaska Department of Fish and Game official Neil Barten. "Lots of camaraderie, sharing stories, shooting together and just spend time to get to know each other. Plus we want the Legislature to see that their money went to good use."

As the morning progressed, Deputy Commissioner of Revenue Jerry Brunette, Sen. Charlie Huggins aide Sharon Long, and Sen. Dennis Egan aide Jesse Kiehl had a slight lead.

"That will fall quickly," Kiehl said. "Especially with the way I just shot trap."

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