New Shooting Range Angers Residents In SE OKC Neighborhood
OKLAHOMA CITY - A new business in southeast Oklahoma City is not getting a warm welcome. Residents say the city never warned them about the shooting range that has opened up by their homes.
Now they are taking their concerns to the owner and a member of the city council Monday night. They want to know why the city has allowed people to come shoot at clay targets near their homes.
"It's like gold with a shotgun," said owner of Quail Ridge Sporting Clays, Dave Martin.
It is a sport that needs a lot of open space. That is why Martin moved his business from Tecumseh onto some land in southeast Oklahoma City.
"We can direct where your guns gonna do," said Martin.
But it is the gunfire that has his neighbors upset.
"Hearing the shooting that woke us up early on a Saturday morning," said neighbor, Lea Ann Garcia.
That is how Garcia found out the shooting range was near her home. She says they were never notified by the city that the business had opened up. Now she wonders why it was approved.
"We are in city limits. We are not allowed to shoot guns out here. We're not allowed to shoot fireworks. You worry about flying bullets with our children out and about," said Garcia.
Martin says he went through a long process to rezone the land and get a special permit. According to the city, the range is far enough away from homes to be legal and safe.
"I have an engineered radius around our course," said Martin.
Martin says the shotgun pellets will fall nowhere near the homes. But that is not far enough for Garcia.
"We moved out here for the peace and quiet and live in the country and that sort of been ruined," said Garcia.
Homeowners also worried the pellets would contaminate their water supply. The owner says that will not happen because he has a lead removal plan. The clay targets are also biodegradable and will not litter the land.
The Oklahoma City Council approved the special permit for Quail Ridge in early January. According to the city, the owner did not have to notify all residents, just those living within a certain amount of feet from the leased land.