Proposed Gun Range Has Some SE OKC Residents Up In Arms

Thursday, January 10th 2013, 7:52 pm
By: News 9

A gun range is drawing a lot of opposition from homeowners in southeast Oklahoma City.  

It's not the first fight for Quail Ridge Sporting Clays and with a new potential location neighbors say it will not be the last. Neighbors near SE 104th and Sooner Rd. say if the gun range is looking for a warm welcome from neighbors they will not get one from them.

Charles Bailey lives just west of the proposed site and says he moved to the area for peace and quiet

"To be one with nature, you know, that will probably come to an end if this thing proceeds," Bailey said.

Bailey and his neighbors are worried about the potential for a new neighbor, Quail Ridge Sporting Clays Inc., a shooting range currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The company is relocating following numerous noise complaints near its current location at SE 149th and Sooner Rd.

The neighbors attended the Oklahoma City Planning Commission meeting Thursday afternoon, many protested the proposal explaining to commissioners they are worried about the disruption from thousands of gunshots and the possibility for lead contamination to their water supply.

David Martin with the Quail Ridge Sporting Clays says the new site plans includes several measure to limit the noise pollution and protect the environment in the area. The owner says their lead reclamation process meets all Environmental Protection Agency standards and National Rifle Association standards. 

In addition to meeting requirements, Martin says the company wants to be good neighbors.

"We are more than double or triple the distance at this location so that's why we took that in to account," Martin said.

Martin says the company will add brims and trees to help deflect the noise and will require customers to shoot away from the houses.

After more than an hour of open discussion, The Oklahoma City Planning Commission did not approve or deny the application for the new site, but instead voted to send the issue to city council without a recommendation.

Martin said he plans move forward without the recommendation and noted the application "already went through the process once and was approved." 

In light of criticism, Martin said he could submit an addendum to his initial application to make the hours of operation more specific. Residents near the proposed site and Bailey say, "I feel it's all politics and you  can't beat politics," but all have said they will try.

The protestors are planning to attend the City Council meetings on Jan. 22 and 29.