Proposed outdoor gun range too close to neighborhood?

Residents worry about stray bullets and noise

LAND O'LAKES, Fla. - Mark Budd says he can't fathom why anyone would choose to build a outdoor gun range between two residential neighborhoods. "It's a little over 1,000 feet from my house.  It's just crazy."

Mark and many others at Pilot Country Estates picked this area to live because it's quiet and because it's a fly-in community where you can park your plane next to your house. "It is a private airport as well as a residential area."

But Skip Drish bought the land next door and says his gun range won't effect those who live nearby.  "We chose a facility here that is 155 acres and we are in the center of it surrounded by wetlands."

Among the worries at Pilot Country -- stray bullets hitting homes, and the noise from shotguns, hand guns and automatic weapons firing from morning to night.

But Drish says tests show other things cause more of ruckus, including the cows that live here now.

"They say they moo at about 82 decibels, so that's pretty loud. And if you have a hundred cattle, I guess that could be louder than what you're going to hear when we have a range there," said Drish.

Another problem for residents is the flight pattern they use goes right over where the gun range will be built.

"If you've ever seen an indoor range and look at the ceiling you know that errant shots, especially in an upward direction are quite common," said Pilot Country Estates resident Rex Myers.

But Drish says safety precautions are in the plans, including a structure built to catch any bullets that miss their target. "I will tell you if people are following the range rules and they are inside the shooting booth, it would be impossible to have a round leave the range."

The developer says he's following all the rules, but residents say they will continue to voice concerns before the county commission votes on it in December

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