Looks like the Coast Guard is considering plans to engage in periodic gun target practice on the Great Lakes. (The linked story is from a Grand Haven, Michigan newspaper.) According to the AP:
The plan calls for establishing 34 permanent zones over open water a few miles from the Great Lakes shorelines for the shooting exercises. Crew members would fire at floating targets from cutters and small boats using machine guns, rifles and small 9 mm guns, said Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier, spokesman for the Coast Guard’s 9th District in Cleveland.
Some of the zones are near recreational spots and areas crisscrossed often by pleasure, charter and fishing boats, such as Grand Haven, Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie and the Keweenaw Peninsula. Most are near Coast Guard stations.
The linked Grand Havens Tribune Story adds:
Each two- to three-hour practice session will consist of more than 3,000 machine gun volleys, according to 9th District Coast Guard officials. Boaters should tune to VHF-Channel 16 for announcements on when training sessions are scheduled.
“We’ll be training with M240B machine guns,” said Ninth District Chief Enforcement Commander Gus Wulfkuhle, who estimated the bullets will travel up to 1,500 yards, or slightly less than a mile.
An Army publication reports the weapon’s range as 4,060 yards, or about 2.3 miles.
. . .
“It’s just too close,” Richards said. “I’d be OK with a minimum of 15 or 20 miles offshore but at 5 miles, especially with a wind out of the west, people in the campground, on the beach or in their boats are going to be bombarded by the sound of military fire. We’re just here to relax and enjoy boating. We don’t want to be subjected to machine gun fire. I don’t know where the brains are in this. It’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard of in my life.”
Richards said the idea is “an accident waiting to happen.”
Well, at least the “training missions” will provide cover when we invade Canada. Oops! I’ve said too much.