SCOTLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW)– Gun enthusiasts joined members of the military and law enforcement on Saturday to put their skills to the test at the “Proving Grounds” tactical competition in Scotland County.
“It’s a combination of a few different things — mainly shooting and fitness — but also tactics, medical knowledge, gear knowledge as well as mental toughness,” Sarah Williams, founder and CEO of the Proving Grounds said.
Williams said she takes the competition on the road across the United States. This weekend, she set up at the Gryphon Group’s security training facility near Maxton, where about 50 shooters took part.
“It’s been really fun and unique getting to come up with all the different stages, and it brings together people from all different backgrounds from all over the country,” she said.
The event offered three stages after dark with the aid of night vision goggles and four daytime stages. The courses featured tasks like a car rollover simulation, a mile-and-a-half run, hauling equipment, applying tourniquets and target shooting.
“A lot of people are familiar with plinking on the range — shooting soda cans with a .22,” Logan Ellis, a first lieutenant and physician’s assistant with the South Carolina National Guard said. “But can they do it with their heart rate at 150, 160 beats per minute while it’s 90 degrees outside, sweating with body armor on?”
Ellis said he has competed in multiple tactical events and uses them as an opportunity to hone his combat and medical skills.
“This specific drill incorporates tourniquet use under stress,” he said.
He said it is important for firearm owners to practice their gun handling and learn basic medical skills, especially given the current political climate.
“There is a lot of discussion about firearms and these types of weapons,” Ellis said. “I would encourage people to come out, spectate one of these types of competitions and talk to the people to see what it’s really about.”