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From: (Doug Gwyn)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: MD range cancelled

I read in the Baltimore Sun Tuesday that a "Top Gun" shooting range
planned for Edmondston (I think it was), MD had some planning-council
permit canceled.  The story was pretty skimpy but it indicated that
some residents had lodged a complaint, saying that a school was
nearby and they were "concerned" about the effect on children.
Sounds to me like another case of Political Correctness, this time
at a local level.  It behooves us to keep our eyes open for this
kind of thing so we can take action before it is too late..

[MODERATOR:  I don't know about that range, but I can tell you first hand
about a facility which was shut down before completed .... ours.  My `home
club' is in Bowie, MD.  Its quite close to housing developments (actually,
they are increasingly close to us ... we were there first, about 55years
ago, and the wave of development is crashing out from the DC beltway.)  Hence
some years ago the club bought some property out in the boonies, way south in
the county.  140 acres, hills on all sides, etc.  The fight to get zoned for
a range was incredible, from all acounts (prior to my moving to MD); what I
know for sure was that all the funds saved up to develop the property were 
used up in legal fees and court costs getting a `special exception.' The land
was left several years, while the club saved up more cash.  When it came time
to develop, all hell broke loose.  The short of it is that the club lost its
exception to develop the trap/skeet ranges; interestingly the rifle range was
spared. Anyway, a privision of the exception was that we would have to reapply
for it each year, independent of development.  So even if we won this year
then next year we might not.  The club eventually chose to place this on the
market. (This was in spite of my suggestion that we donate it to DC, which is
known to be looking for more property to build a maximum security facility.
The only better suggestion I heard was that we donate it to someone who wants
to build a *minimum* security facility...)  In the fight to get the zoning
fixed up, I heard much blather.  Women came in absolutely bawling, tears 
streaming down their faces, and begging the county council to shut us and
the NRA down.  She said she never minded seeing hunters (out of her kitchen
window) who hunted the fringes of the property, since that was okay, but the
thought that NRA members would be firing assault rifles (out of a covered, 
nearly enclosed building with soundproofing and very expensive safety baffles
to prohibit any bullet from leaving the property) was somehow too much for her.
I saw one guy get up and say he was a "VietNam vet" who "moved out to the 
country to get away from gunfire ... and, if I heard gunfire in the distance,
well, I just don't think I could be responsible for what I might do ...."
Right.  The capper was a guy who got up and said he watched as the sound tests
were performed (we paid for independent consultants to monitor and evaluate
our plans for soundproofing); sez he, "I heard the shot when they fired a
highpower rifle from the simulated soundproofing system on their property. We
were standing on my property line [quite a ways away].  The needle on their
meters barely moved.  But a bird up in the tree next to us was chirping, and
the needle jumped wildly.  Now, obviously the tests were flawed ... everyone
knows that a rifle is louder than a bird."  A sad commentary on the average
intelligence of the Prince Georges County government ... they believed this
guy, and issued a ruling as such.  Sorry to go on at length like this, but this
obviously is close to my heart.  We put lots of time and money into this project
to see it fail due to bozos.  I am a first-hand witness to the several council
meetings where this was all debated, and a registered "party of interest" ...
and I think all the transcripts are on file somewhere for anyone who wants a
study in frustration.]

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