Gun range owner was 
about safety

Gun range owner was 
about safety


MERIDEN — David Botsford Lyman dedicated his life to teaching gun safety to everyone from sharpshooters to novices.

Lyman, a Meriden resident and owner of Blue Trail Range in Wallingford, died suddenly last week. He was 62.

“The main thing is his lifelong passion was the education and promotion of shooting sports,” said his wife of 40 years, Deborah Woessner Lyman.

David Lyman was a dedicated Second Amendment advocate who changed lives and people’s perception of firearms through responsible gun use.

“He changed my life,” said state Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford. “When I met him I was a Democrat, or at least anti-gun. He opened up my eyes to a lot of things about firearms and ownership. I attribute a lot of what I know about the Second Amendment to him.”

Fishbein, also an attorney, successfully defended him against a lawsuit over stray bullets found on neighboring residential properties in 2011. The court ruled there was no proof the bullets came from the Blue Trail Range, 316 N. Branford Road, Wallingford. David Lyman always contended the bullets came from hunters.

Born in Middlefield on June 12, 1955, he was the son of the late Pearl Green and Charles Lyman III. He attended the Independent Day School in Middlefield and graduated from Wilbraham and Monson Academy.

Lyman attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he was a member of the varsity rifle team. He moved to Anchorage, Alaska to study rifle coaching under Robert Hickey and there he met his wife, Deborah, a member of the University of Alaska Anchorage rifle team. They married in Anchorage and moved to Connecticut, where he entered the family business, The Blue Trail Range Corporation, his obituary states.

His career was an extension of his hobby — the safe and accurate handling of firearms which extended to coaching shooters, young and old. Lyman was a nationally ranked competitive rifleman who earned the National Rifle Association’s distinguished smallbore rifleman award for both prone and position shooting. He was the 1981 and 1982 national smallbore Rifle three position champion, according to his obituary. In service rifle competition, he won the golden eagle trophy, emblematic of the junior championship in the national individual trophy match. He was an endowment member of the National Rifle Association, life member of the Connecticut State Rifle & Revolver Association, where he also served on the board of directors. He was also past president and lieutenant governor of the Meriden Kiwanis Club and an NRA certified rifle instructor, who trained almost 20,000 Connecticut youngsters in safe firearms handling.

Deborah Lyman said Blue Trail Range will remain open for sales and instruction. David Lyman’s son, Remington Lyman, and shop staff will continue the operation supervised by Deborah Lyman.


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