Black Male Target at Georgia Shooting Range

A Georgia gun range called Shooters of Columbus came under social media fire for offering a target featuring a likeness of a young black male.

Published Jul 15, 2015

On 13 July 2015, Javell Woods published a version of the photograph seen above (depicting a shooting range target picturing a young black male) to Facebook along with a status update that read "So I go to the range yesterday and this Is the pic they had for target practice ... I ask if he had any teenage white males I could practice shooting at and he told me I was a racist."

The photograph (which Woods reported he snapped at Shooters of Columbus in Georgia) was shared by other users, some of whom observed that the logo on the target appeared to match that of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), whose Facebook page was subsequently peppered with comments about the image. (The IALEFI had not acknowledged the controversy as of this writing.)

A Facebook page for Shooters of Columbus has since been made unavailable, but an employee of the range said in a 15 July 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer article that the target was one of several offered to customers (of which the most popular was Walking Dead zombies):

Shooters management declined to reveal which staff member was on duty when Woods was shooting or if someone had told him that choosing a target with a white man was racist. Woods has not responded to requests for comment as of publication.

David Peacock, who has worked for Shooters for a year, said there are many different targets people can choose to use on the the range. He said the target Woods posted showing a black teenager is one of many choices.

Shooters of Columbus management showed the Ledger-Enquirer a dozen targets depicting real people sold by the store. Most were white men with guns, though there was a white woman and an Asian man as well.

The Law Enforcement Targets web site from which Shooters of Columbus said they purchased the targets indeed offers a range of likenesses of individuals of several races, ages, and genders. The specific targets available at Shooters of Columbus were not listed on the range's web site, and the gun shop and shooting range neither confirmed nor denied that an employee told Woods he was "racist" during the exchange described.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.