The Shooting Range With a Highway Between the Firing Line and the Targets

When you think of a shooting range, you normally picture an enclosed space or an outdoor, isolated field. Rarely do you imagine that it would be located on a busy road. Yet, the Br├╝nnlisau shooting range in Switzerland is just that. Not only is the shooting range located near the Ausserlatterbach highway — one of the busiest in the country — but the targets are on the opposite side of the road. Aside from the 160 gun club members who regularly practice there, the range also hosts around 100 soldiers for their compulsory gun training. It’s estimated that there are about 80,000 live rounds fired at the 12 targets each year. That’s a lot of people firing guns over a highway. So, how is it that there have been no accidents in the 24 years it’s been open? For one thing, Switzerland has very strict gun control regulations. While over 2.4 million Swiss citizens have firearms, they are required to go through months of training before they can even obtain a license. At the Br├╝nnlisau shooting range, shooters have to be lying down prone before they can fire their gun. This puts a 1-foot-thick concrete wall between the shooter and the highway. That means there’s absolutely no way a shooter can hit someone on the road unless they stand up and aim at them. On the other side of the shooting range are 12 targets that are fitted with electronic sensors and microphones. The sensors measure things like bullet trajectory and wind direction, while the microphones specifically check the amount of pressure each bullet delivers onto a target. Once a shooter is done, they unload their weapon before getting out of the prone position. Who would have thought that such a simple rule would save countless lives?