Gun range responds to noise, safety complaints from neighbors - WSMV News 4

Gun range responds to noise, safety complaints from neighbors

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A group of Sparta residents said they've had enough of a noisy neighbor.

A few families of Quail Road claim Sparta Arms, formerly known as Guns and More, set up shop close by without them knowing about it. The neighbors said besides being a noise nuisance, the gun range has also made them fear for their safety.

"From the rifle range to my fence line, I'm estimating it's about 300 feet," said former county commissioner and Quail Road resident Tim Bumbalough. "A week before it opened, I was informed it was going to be a gun range. I'm a gun owner. I'm a life member of the NRA, and I believe gun responsibility means making people aware."

Sparta Arms owner Ruby Baker argues that since the grand opening in February, her business has gone strictly by the book.

"There's no restrictions in the county, so there's no reason for me to inform anyone," said Baker. "I did talk with the county administrator and got letters saying it was OK for me to open a range."

Baker said the nearby neighbors are safe after she spent thousands building a 15-foot-high barrier around the the gun range. Residents said their bigger concern is for a long distance range not surrounded by a barrier.

"The angle, when I'm riding my tractor and they're shooting from the rifle range, is a fairly easy angle for a shot," said Bumbalough.

"Anyone who shoots on the range has to have a range officer," said Baker. "All my range officers are certified. You'd have to turn completely around in order to shoot over there."

Bumbalough added his family leaves on Saturdays because of the noise, and he's brought his concerns to local leaders.

"I called 911, and I had to repeat myself because the 911 operator couldn't understand me because of the noise," said Bumbalough.

"It's a gun range, so there's going to be noise unless I put a silencer on every gun," said Baker. "I can't do that. We try to be good neighbors, but I can't say there won't be any shooting because I own a 20-lane gun range. There's going to be shooting out there."

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