Residents upset about proximity of gun range to homes - WNEM TV 5

Residents upset about proximity of gun range to homes

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A new gun range is coming under fire from locals concerned about the noise. They may have to take the owner to court to shut it down.

A police officer opened up the shooting range to help show people the proper way to hold a pistol.

"Safety is number one. Nobody has ever been hurt, not once. And it'll never happen," said Jerry Wilson, owner of Midland Arms and Defensive Solutions.

The noise coming from the range is not sitting well with some who live nearby. They said they are worried about how close the shooting range is to their homes and its safety.

"There's approximately 60 homes in the area. You're affecting everybody," said Al Anger, neighbor.

Midland Arms and Defense Solutions bought the building in Lee Township last year.

The gun shop is Wilson's first business. He has 18 years of police work under his belt and saw a need and business opportunity. A few months ago he decided to build the indoor range so he could teach classes.

"I spent upwards of $6,000 just to put in a spot for people to shoot safely," Wilson said.

There are three classes a week with about 300 rounds a class. All of which are taught by police officers.

Wilson said he did a ton of research and used experts to help draw up his plans. He took the plans to the township's planning commission, but they denied his application in November. He appealed their decision.

The township's zoning board of appeals reversed the decision, giving Wilson the OK to run the business.

"When I applied for this I told the township it's just for the CPL classes and that's what we're doing," Wilson said.

Anger said this has upset residents who live nearby Wilson's business.

"My biggest beef is with the township and the legal description on his application," Anger said.

Anger said the range should have never been allowed to open. He said it's too close to homes and violates the township's noise ordinance.

"I thought, this is so crazy. We're trying to put a range on 1.9 acres with limited room for an outside range," Anger said.

According to the Lee Township supervisor, George Whittington, Wilson has met all of the necessary requirement to legally operate the range.

"It's gone through the entire process of zoning. Then there's not a whole lot we can do about it," Whittington said.

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