Township denies special permit for gun range - WNEM TV 5

Township denies special permit for gun range

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HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

There was a heated meeting in a Mid-Michigan community Thursday night between law enforcement and residents.

Police wanted a new gun range in the area, but residents said no way.

The residents erupted in applause after the special permit was denied in Hampton Township.

"A multiple jurisdictional firearms training range for our department, the sheriff's department and Bay City Public Safety Department," Hampton Township Police Chief Bryan Benchley said.

Benchley said they were planning on building the range on 10 acres on Arms Road between Finn and Knight. It would have been open to the public, aside from a few scheduled days for law enforcement.

It is an activity police say is crucial to their operations.

"In this day and age it's very important. We need to be proficient in our weapons and the more training you do the better off you are," Benchley said.

That wasn't enough to convince residents.

"The residents didn't want a gun range in their neighborhood. So the planning commission took that into account and denied the special use permit," said Mark Basket, chairman of the planning commission.

Don Honer lives behind the proposed location. He said he is happy for many reasons.

"There's a lot of people that use Arms Road to walk their dogs to walk nearby," Honer said. "There's also the devaluation of our property."

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