The Fort Larned Arms Association was established in the late 1970s, some of the original members were Gary Meserve, Ralph Fink, Jerry Stapleton, Jack Atteberry, Reed Peters, Paul Harris, Kim M. Beckwith to name a few. This was the original Larned Police Department Range and had been neglected for a few years and was not in use. So several original gun club members approached the City of Larned to ask permission to bring the range back to life, for the benefit of Larned shooting enthusiast and local and state police as well as sheriff office and even the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks use. The City of Larned agreed to a 99 year maintenance lease renewal each year. The club was required to maintain the facility and provide access to local law enforcement for their qualification with weapons.
There were two divisions of the club, one being the Trap Shooters and the other being the Pistol Shooters. After a few years of split bank accounts it was decided to convert back to a single treasure, Kim M. Beckwith was appointed to that position and still holds that position in 2011. The club held annual pistol competitions, Trap Shoots before Pheasant season, Hunter Safety Classes and added a 22 Cal. Pistol Silhouette Range. This range was used for an annual event that John W. Yeager was in charge of and was called a Father Son shoot. The Son or Daughter would shoot the close targets at 25 and 50 yards and Dad or Mom would shoot the 75 and 100 yard targets all with rifles. It was well attended for around 4 years.
Fort Larned Arms Association was incorporated as a nonprofit Corporation in 1980, thanks to the help of Phil Martin and in the same year became an NRA Affiliated club. The reason for the affiliation was the City of Larned wanted us to acquire liability insurance and the only way the club could afford it was through the NRA.
The trap club originally shot at a location just south of the Ward Feed Yard Office for quite a few years under the watchful eye of David Skelton. The original trap was his fathers and the Gun Club purchased it from David for use there for around 5 years. It was eventually moved back to the city property and place in and out each use in the old trap house built originally by the Police Department. In 1985 it was decided to build a new concrete trap house and it is still in use today for the club as well as the 4-H shooting sports program ran by Larry Skelton. Bob Keast was very instrumental in the building of the trap house.
The pistol shooters have shot bulls-eye indoors for a time at the National Guard Armory until it was not allowed because of poor ventilation. The original bullet trap is at our range presently and could be re-instated to use if a suitable building is ever found. Through the years pistol shooter have shot several different disciples, Bull eye, Police Combat, NRA Action Pistol, Steel Plates, Bowling Pins and IDPA concealed carry. We have quite an array of steel targets for anyone to use at the range.
We have had a lot of help from people of the community, City of Larned, Pawnee County Commissioners, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Ward Feed Yard for pushing out our new 150 yard range and re-positioning our 100 yard range, Nolan Eakin has put in numerous hours moving dirt and concrete work. Larry Skelton and Rock Foster have provided any help we need with steel and welding targets many times.
The club has furthered the shooting careers of several shooters with two members of a three member team winning a NRA National Championship Several times and placing 2nd and 3rd in the Nation on several other occasions and a Nation Senior Bianchi Cup Champion and World Team NRA Action Pistol Champion member.
New renovations have been completed with the help of the NRA Range Staff with the raising of the rifle and pistol berm with the help of Ward Feed Yard and the City of Larned.
To date we have had several people do a good job mowing, such as Kim M. Beckwith, Roy and Rob Connely, Sam Ryan, John W. Yeager and Jim Gaede has mowed built steel targets and a pattering board. He also keeps the Golf Cart running!
I am sure I have left someone out and if anyone wants to add to this let me know.
Kim M. Beckwith