News and Tribune

Floyd County

July 10, 2014

Floyd County residents upset over proposed gun range

BZA to hear issue Monday night

NEW ALBANY — The Floyd County Board of Zoning Appeals will consider a request for a conditional use to turn 50 acres of land into an outdoor shooting range.

Laverne Smith hopes the BZA says no to that request.

“It’s going to affect our freedom — the soil, air, water and the lack of security,” said Smith, who lives a quarter of a mile from the area located at 5598 Reinhardt Road, near the Harrison County border, in Franklin Township. “We want to keep it a country setting.”

The BZA meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday in the assembly room at the Pine View Government Center.

A brochure was distributed to neighbors and others making people aware of the issue and the meeting this week.

The owner of the property, Ryan Ramsey, submitted the request. Smith said she has met Ramsey, but he said nothing to her about wanting to build an outdoor gun range. Calls to Ramsey for comment for this story were not returned as of press time.

Danny Hall, a longtime resident of Franklin Township, said the area does not need another gun range. He said the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department and New Albany Police Department practice at the range along Five Mile Lane.

According to a WDRB report Wednesday, some residents say the outdoor range will be used as a “tactical training facility” where law enforcement agencies could practice.

“They have their own [range],” Hall said. “They don’t need another one.”

Connie Moon, who has lived in the area her entire life, said residents in the area found out about the proposed outdoor range earlier this week.

“The signs on the property [advertising the meeting] were knocked over in the weeds. You have to give them the benefit of the doubt, we have had some storms out here,” Moon said. “When some of the neighbors found out they started making phone calls and found out more people were worried about it besides them.”

Moon said the gun range would be built on a hill and would pose a danger to the area. She said there are farms and children playing in the area.

“It does not need to be in a residential area on top of a hill. It needs to be in a valley which would add more protection,” she said. “We want to stress we are not against guns. It’s not a gun issue. It’s about safety for the neighborhood.”The Floyd County Board of Zoning Appeals will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the Pine View Government Center.

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