In my opinion, the M1 rifle is
the greatest battle implement ever devised
--General Georgw Patton
Let us assume that General Patton's belief is true. If so, you should know that the United States government has been selling the M1 as war surplus to legal, law-abiding citizens since the 1960's.
In addition, although a weapon of war these weapons were also sold for a minimal price to the Civilian Marksmanship Programl (CMP) for its purpose of training citizens in correct and safe shooting skills -- all prefectly legal and sanctioned by the U.S. government. Today, the M1 rifle is still used as a National Match rifle.
All of our armies since 1776 have used the rifle as their basic weapon. The rifle squad of the rifle platoon of the rifle company are the basic combat elements of any successful army. (Ranger, like all who wore crossed rifles as their branch designator, is trained as a basic riflemen.)
In 1871 it was clear that rifle marksmanship in the Civil War was deficient, so the governmet and private citizenry later formed the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an effort to ensure a basic level of rifle competency among all male citizens. To this end, the government also supported a Directorate of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM).
When Ranger was a young Boy Scout, any group such as the Boy Scouts, that had ten or more members received free ammunition and rifles from the DCM as a means of promoting civilian rifle marksmanship. This was in accordance with national policy.
The DCM supported all aspects of competitive marksmanship to include safety classes. Civilians and the government shared this function and the CMP still exists today.
Every civilian range that Ranger has visited has dual functions, serving both civilian and government entities. Federal and state entities cannot afford to run ranges that can be easily contracted from civilian sources.
In addition, police and sheriff's officers use these civilian ranges on contract, as do the Reserve Forces of all service branches. Ranges serve a social and recreational function as well as mission orientation one for the government forces. (On major military posts there is always a gun and skeet club that provides recreation to the soldiers.)
Government and civilian shooters compliment each other. Often times, civilian instructors provide instructions to military personnel. In my day, the military was tasked with supporting civilian marksmanship.
Because of his DCM training, Ranger entered the Army as a trained rifleman, later participating as a shooter in National Matches after qualifying in the DCM/NRA Small Arms firing school. This is shared to show that gaining rifle expertise was available to all citizens with the government's imprimatur, and the training often served as an entryway to later shooting projects in the Armed Forces.
Rifle expertise was not a thing to be feared. Somehow, this fact has been lost, as rifles have become a suspect and maligned.
As an aside, all of my childhood friends bought M1 carbines and 1911 A1 .45 calibre pisols from the DCM for $20 each, postage extra, shipped via U.S. mail. All of these men later served in the armed services; they are still proud owners of their DCM purchases.
Ranges are not places that breed trouble.