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Harnett shooting range neighbors want end to gunfire

Posted January 8, 2013
Updated January 9, 2013

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— After more than a year of debate, homeowners in a Harnett County neighborhood said Tuesday that the county needs to strip a nearby shooting range of its agritourism classification in the name of safety.

Drake Landing, a family-owned farm in Fuquay-Varina with a shooting range, falls under the agritourism umbrella, which means it isn't subject to county zoning laws.

The gunfire makes neighbors uneasy and, according to the Harnett County Sheriff's Office, there have been at least five cases of stray bullets hitting homes or cars in the area.

At a county Board of Adjustment meeting Tuesday night, homeowners said it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

"I guess I'd say the same thing (that) I'd say to a drunk driver in a bar, 'No, you haven't (hurt someone) yet," said Jeff Hegnes. "But a house has been hit, to my understanding, three times."

Neighbors also complained about the noise.

"We can hear it quite loudly, particularly during the winter when the leaves are off the trees. My dogs won't even leave the porch," said Ted Martin, who lives about one mile from Drake Landing. 

Jo-Anne Martin said the gunshots scare her four horses. Harnett shooting range neighbors want end to gunfire Harnett shooting range neighbors want end to gunfire

"When the shooting is going on, we cannot ride our horses because the horses are skittish," she said.

The Board of Adjustment was expected to vote on the issue Tuesday night but postponed it to allow for more debate at a meeting Thursday night.

If the board votes to revoke the agritourism classification, Drake Landing would have to shut down its shooting range.

An attorney for the owner, a former county commissioner who was present at Tuesday's meeting, said he did not want to comment until after a decision is made.

162 Comments

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  • piene2 Jan 10, 9:30 a.m.

    "bubbba - "I can guarantee my bullets go right where I want them too."

    Do you mean like the two local cops that have shot themselves lately? Or do you mean like the cop in New york City that shot nine innocent bystanders recently? One wonders if they had any training as well.

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Jan 9, 7:22 p.m.

    Paddie - "The houses were there before the range. Either the owner or his father was a Harnett county commissioner before this past election when he was not re-elected. Interesting..."

    Interesting indeed!!!

    The range should never have been approved to be built there. When one drives past, it looks like an exclusive, yet not posh, club with fencing all around it.

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Jan 9, 7:21 p.m.

    bdu - "Were the houses built after the range? Were the houses built outside the legal distance for firing a weapon near a dwelling?"

    Good questions!

    I know the horse farm has been there for a long long time. Not sure which came first though, the firing range or the horse farm.

    As for comparing a firing range to a drag strip, noise does not kill, bullets do.

    Now one thing I think is funny is city folk who relocate to the country and then complain about the smell.

    GUFFAW

  • paddie Jan 9, 7:01 p.m.

    The houses were there before the range. Either the owner or his father was a Harnett county commissioner before this past election when he was not re-elected. Interesting.....

  • bdu4dals2 Jan 9, 6:24 p.m.

    Were the houses built after the range? Were the houses built outside the legal distance for firing a weapon near a dwelling? I want to build a house in this woods, so we need to take away the business that has been there...how is that right? No different than the guy that built his house near a dragstrip and now does not like the noise. The bullet that supposedly hit a house, proof it came from the range? I'm just saying...

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Jan 9, 6:17 p.m.

    bubbba - "Hey Dynol I got much education but anyone that uses the acronym LOL or ROLOL tells me all I need to know."

    If you're meaning you think I'm some young whippersnapper, well - ROFLOL LOL LOL.

    I'm an old broad Bubbba, an old computer savvy broad.

    GUFFAW

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Jan 9, 6:15 p.m.

    Damien Thorne - "I am afraid that there are a lot of people that do not follow common sense. Some near me never even heard of it."

    Well, ya know, I was born and raised a long long time ago, and it seems to me, the more book learning folks get, the less common sense they have, cause common sense just doesn't seem to be so common anymore.

    Have ya noticed that?

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Jan 9, 6:13 p.m.

    bubbba - "I can guarantee my bullets go right where I want them too."

    I've was trained in firearms use from the age of 10. I served in the military for three years during the Vietnam years. No one can guarantee that 100%, cause sometimes stuff just happens.

    I know what you mean about the couple on Lane Street. My heart aches for them because I know even if they heal physically, they will never ever feel safe anywhere again, even in their own home.

    I'm not saying we should lose our firearms, I'll take an "armed" stand on that, but a firing range within range of subdivisions and farms is just plain ludicrous.

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Jan 9, 6:11 p.m.

    bubbba - "Hey Dynol I got much education but anyone that uses the acronym LOL or ROLOL tells me all I need to know."

    Whatever that means.

  • Damien Thorne Jan 9, 6:01 p.m.

    "But if you're near a subdivision, even "wayyy out in the country" you follow the rules that have to do with discharging firearms around others which were born out of plain old common sense, not "who was there first" logic."-----Dynol Yn Cael Ei

    I am afraid that there are a lot of people that do not follow common sense. Some near me never even heard of it.

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