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Neighbors on edge over stray bullets near Harnett shooting range

Posted January 17, 2012
Updated January 18, 2012

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— Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins met with more than 100 community members Tuesday who are fired up with concerns about a farm and shooting range in the area.

Drake Landing is a family-owned farm in Fuquay-Varina that neighbors say brings noise and gunfire too close to home. The shooting range, which is about three-quarters of a mile from the road, falls under the umbrella of "agritourism," which means it's exempt from county zoning laws.

In the past year, Rollins said his office has handled five cases of stray bullets hitting homes or cars in the area surrounding the shooting range. It was determined later, however, that one of those bullets did not come from Drake Landing.

Investigators are still looking into the other four cases of bullets found, Rollins said, but unless they can prove the shootings weren't accidental, this hands are tied. If residents decided to file a lawsuit, they could take up the issue in civil court.  

Sheriff fields concerns over Harnett shooting range Sheriff fields concerns over Harnett shooting range

Still, neighbors say they want the sheriff's office to do more to keep their community safe.

"I just don't like that they are waiting for somebody to get hurt before they do anything about it," said Jesse Adam.

In 2010, the range sparked controversy when it planned a three-day semi-automatic weapons course over Memorial Day weekend. Organizers wound up moving that event to another location, in part because of public outcry.

Rollins urged neighbors not to jump to conclusions about where stray bullets might be coming from and some people spoke out in defense of Drake Landing.

"I've lived less than a mile from there for 10 years and have never felt unsafe," said Ben Elam. "I've never been bothered by any noise there."

County Commissioner Dan Andrews owns Drake Landing. He attended Tuesday's meeting, but declined to comment.

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  • gunny462 Jan 19, 2012

    If the harnett county does not have zoning laws in effect for ranges, is it the range owners fault?

  • gunny462 Jan 19, 2012

    "The shooting range…falls under the umbrella of "agritourism," which means it's exempt from county zoning laws.”

    I have looked up the ag ncda and it specially states planning zoning, health, environment impacts

    "the “NRA Range Sourcebook” “MIL HDBK 1027-3B Range Facilities and Miscellaneous Training Facilities Other Than Buildings”. This is the reference publication used by all branches of the military"

    I too am quite aware of both as well as OSHA. But still nowhere in this article does it state that he is not in compliance with state or local requirements of which there are quite a few. Each county must have it's own ordinance governing the range(s). To include noise DBd levels at property line not to exceed *** lvls, minimum liability insurance, permit to establish and run a range, site plans to include noise reduction, firing lines, firing stations, existing roads, streets AND proposed structures within 1/4 mile of facility and buffer zones that's just to name a fe

  • Obviousman Jan 19, 2012

    And where's the link? I didn't see anywhere in this article where the owner was "unregulated" Just the cost of reading lies from another anti-gun 'person'…gunny462

    Gunny, your handle indicates that you’re a marine…thank you for your service!
    With all due respect, please re-read the article. “The shooting range…falls under the umbrella of "agritourism," which means it's exempt from county zoning laws.” There is no oversight. The range has not had to meet any of the permitting requirements for operating a safe shooting range in the county. As mentioned previously, the “NRA Range Sourcebook” provides a wealth of information regarding planning, constructing and operating a shooting range. There’s also “MIL HDBK 1027-3B Range Facilities and Miscellaneous Training Facilities Other Than Buildings”. This is the reference publication used by all branches of the military.

    For the record, I am not anti-gun. I own a variety of handguns and long guns and cherish my r

  • Obviousman Jan 19, 2012

    In rethinking this, with simple trig, I would consider it almost totally worthless if firing from a position level with the target. Only about 2 degrees of elevation would clear the top if you consider a flat trajectory (which I would for a safety measure). But we do need to take into account the elevation of the shooters. Perhaps they are shooting from an elevated position, which means they are firing downward to begin with. Anyone know for sure?...Lightfoot3

    Elevation at firing line = 329ft. Elevation at location of house = 269ft. Highest elevation between firing line & house = 312ft.

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 19, 2012

    Well, I just looked at the rifle range images from the Drake Landing website. The one at the bottom that says "Check out the view" tells the story. A shot could EASILY leave that range. The berm is not sufficient and the topography beyond it is level. This doesn't prove the shots that hit the house came from the range, but I personally wouldn't run a rifle range designed like this.

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 19, 2012

    "Why not require safety training before shooting on a public range?" - EZeegoing


    I don't have a problem with that. If I owned a range, it would be mandatory.


    "A 20ft berm on a 200 yard rifle range is practically worthless for containing errant rounds." - Obviousman


    In rethinking this, with simple trig, I would consider it almost totally worthless if firing from a position level with the target. Only about 2 degrees of elevation would clear the top if you consider a flat trajectory (which I would for a safety measure). But we do need to take into account the elevation of the shooters. Perhaps they are shooting from an elevated position, which means they are firing downward to begin with. Anyone know for sure?

  • EZeegoing Jan 19, 2012

    Let's apply logic here. You need a special lic to drive a auto, motorcycle, bus or commerical vehicle. You need a lic to be a doctor, electrician, plumber, dentist and just about anything involving the public. Why not require safety training before shooting on a public range?

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 19, 2012

    "it only takes the barrel to be elevated around 30 degrees" - Obviousman


    If somemone is shooting at 30 degrees, that's a person problem, not a range problem.


    What's the typography like beyond the 20ft berm? I would agree that a 20ft berm at 200yds sounds kind of inadequate. If the land beyond it keeps rising, and is heavy wooded, I would have less concerns, but if this is on the level, or worse, a gradual down slope, it would sound like they need to rethink the rifle range design.

  • gunny462 Jan 19, 2012

    And while we at it. The longest sniper shot recorded is at 2707 yards or 8121 feet. Considering the comment about 5300feet, whoever was shooting from the range at the house/car/barn is an impressive shooter. Considering the berm is there and the shooter can't see OVER IT and must use best guess at: initial elevation, windage (on the otherside of the berm), obstructions (pathway) and elevation of the target, etc. Reminds me of the saying "Couldn't hit the broadside of a barn"

  • gunny462 Jan 19, 2012

    "I suppose it's a perfectly acceptable risk that someone may be injured or killed by a stray round from a heavily used, unregulated shooting range. Just the cost of doing business I suppose.Obviousman"

    And where's the link? I didn't see anywhere in this article where the owner was "unregulated" Just the cost of reading lies from another anti-gun 'person'

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