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Ranges under fire

Reader Carl forwards this from the Tennessee Firearms Association:

Gun ranges in Tennessee seem to be under attack by local zoning officials. These local zoning officials are often motivated by public pressure. Usually, that means that the gun range is in trouble unless the gun owners of this state and range members ban together to fight local government. This is one of the main reasons that the State of Tennessee passed a stronger range protection act in 2004.

Most recently, a sporting clays range in Bradley County, Tennessee, (Flint Springs) has been under attack. Papers filed in Chancery Court in Bradley County, Tennessee, reflect that the range is situated on a 175 acre farm in the rural part of the county. In 2003, the Bradley County Planning Commission issued a permit authorizing the use of the land as a shotgun only shooting range. No restrictions were placed on the number of members that the club could have nor on the days or hours of shooting.

On February 2006, according to court filings, the Bradley County Planning Commission voted to revoke the 2003 permit. The court pleadings reflect that non-shooters had been complaining about the noise and that those complaints garnered more attention by the county when the number of members in the club increased over time. Those complaints appear to have influenced the county to “reconsider” the permit and then to revoke it allegedly on grounds of misrepresentation.

In March 2006, the County filed with the court a petition seeking an injunction to close down the range. At a hearing in the matter occurring on April 21, 2006 and again on April 25, 2006, the Court denied the county’s efforts to close the range. Instead, the Court issued an order prohibiting the county from closing the range based upon the county’s revocation of the use permit until all administrative and court proceedings were concluded.

This is going to be an potentially expensive fight for the Flint Springs Sporting Clays club. If you are interested in helping in this fight, financially or otherwise – individually or as a club, please feel free to contact Flint Springs Sporting Clays, LLC through the clubs website.

Who knows when your club will be the next one in the sights of a local government?

2 Responses to “Ranges under fire”

  1. Tennessee Ranges Under Fire | Gun Safe Home Says:

    […] via Say Uncle. […]

  2. KAREN Says:

    UNDER ATTACK? HA! The owner of the property requested a use permit on review for 7 members only, and a few guests. Fourteen months prior to requesting this permit Flint Springs Sporting Clays formed a Limited Liability Company in a different county. The property owner also leased the property for 10 years, with an option for 5 more, to the LLC fourteen months before requesting the permit for himself and a few of his friends to shoot shotguns. Restrictions were set, as sworn testimony proved. The club was to operate only Tues. through Sunday (from 9 am till dark Tuesday through Saturday, from 12 til dark on Sunday), yet they shot seven days a week. It was to be a private club, with no advertising. When the club posted web sites (advertising itself as public, stating the price of members, non members, women and children), posted their phone number on their sign, and had a spot on Grants Sporting Goods TV program the club was in violation of their permit. Attorney Roger Jenne had witnesses sworn in to testify to the restrictions put on the club when the permit was granted. This 7 member club held tournaments and competitions, with over 75 participating at times. The Chattanooga Times, in May of 2005, ran an ariticle for the club. The article stated how the club had gone public, listing prices for members, non members, women and children. They stated they had hit pay dirt! The reporter was told by club members how much they appreciated the newspaper for covering their story for them and they shook his hand. The Chattanooga Times Newpaper, nor the reporter, received any complaints about the article printed. Later, in October, the property owner stated the article was a misprint. The reporter who wrote the article denied it was a misprint and gave an attorney a sworn affadavit (denying the misprint) to present to the commissioners. The club states it is not for profit, however the LLC license on file with rhe State of Tenn. says Flint Springs LLC is for profit.
    The commissioners kept being told by the club that they had only seven members. The attorneys, in Feb. 2006, questsioned the club over this matter. tThe club then admitted to having 65 members. When the property applied for a zoning change the County, maile a letter to the club because of the violations the were committing. The club removed the phone number off the sign, and then said they were complying with the permit. It there were no restriction, why did they take the phone number down? The club put in a septic tank without a permit, and built their building without a permit. I for one would be embarrased to support this type of activity.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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