December 22nd, 2003


[ISTGINMTSU] The Knob Creek Machine-gun Shoot

It is hailed as the biggest machine gun shoot in the nation, and, judging by gun regulations in other countries, it is probably the biggest in the world. Kenny Sumner Jr., the 21-year-old son of the range's owner and self-declared "future boss" of Knob Creek, said the shoot, which was started by his grandfather and a few friends in the 1970s, has grown to a "big family reunion" that averages about 12,000 people for the three-day event.

While extensive background checks are required to own a machine gun in America, no state or federal law restricts who can shoot one in Kentucky. During the machine gun shoot, enthusiasts can fire off 50 rounds from a belt-fed machine gun, take a spin in the woods with an Uzi or torch a car with a flamethrower. Those with speed and accuracy, or $25 to spare, can compete in everything from pistol to belt-fed machine-gun matches.

Ammunition can cost thousands of dollars per person for the weekend. It's not unusual for participants to shoot $10,000 worth of ammunition into hillside, Kenny Sumner Jr. said. But only 60 people can fire away all weekend long from behind "the line," a fenced-off area about 100 yards long facing a valley filled with bullet-riddled cars, boats and campers. To get on the line, you need to have a gun, a couple thousand dollars for ammunition and a lot of patience:

The current wait is 10 years.

The final amusement: A 16 year old girl by the name of Samantha Sawyer has won the "Women's Sub-machinegun" competition at Knob Creek for the last 4 years running!