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Cumberland County moves forward with firing range plan

Posted August 19, 2010
Updated August 20, 2010

TigerSwan, Inc.
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— The opponents of a planned firing range fell a vote short Thursday night when the Cumberland County Board of Adjustment failed to reverse a decision of the county Planning Department to allow development of the the TigerSwan Collaborative Training Center near Cedar Creek.

The complex will open on 250 acres leased Stewart Precythe next month. The entire complex – a total of seven firing ranges – is expected to be complete by May 2011.

A group called Citizens for the Preservation of Cedar Creek and Neighboring Communities registered their concern about the development citing safety, noise, lead contamination, wildlife and farming impacts, traffic increase, decreased property values and potential for expansion.

After hearing from both sides for more than three hours Thursday evening, the board voted 3-2 to reverse the plan, but that wasn't enough. A four-fifths vote is required.

Engineer Gordon Rose and Billy Buckner, public relations manager for TigerSwan, tried to allay those worries.

Rose's company, Black River Design and Build, designed the berms – long, flat-topped pyramids – that encompass the firing range.

Cumberland County hears opposition to gun range Cumberland County hears opposition to gun range

"They are probably 50 feet wide at the bottom and made of dense sand and clay and topsoil that should stop any bullets that would hit it," Rose said.

The property borders dense woods, and the closest home is more than a mile away.

Buckner said safety is paramount for TigerSwan, a business headquartered in Apex and founded by former members of the elite, Fort Bragg-based Delta Force. On Thursday, the company announced a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Correction to provide training for special operations teams.

The Cumberland County center will be used to train soldiers, law enforcement, even hunters, Buckner said.

“What you’ll see is law enforcement, Department of Defense and other agencies that have a need to have a high level of marksmanship, proficiency and tactical skills,” he said.

"We are, first of all, going to make sure it's a world-class facility and that it meets all those guidelines. We make that commitment to the community," Buckner said.

He doesn't deny that a shooting range is noisy.

"But what we're trying to do is reduce that to a point where it doesn't become a distraction to the community," he said.


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  • ARCOP223 Aug 20, 2010

    smalldogsrule you don't have a clue. There are by far, insufficient ranges on Ft. Bragg to handle this specialized training. Civilian police will pay big bucks for training like this.

  • GLOCKMASTER Aug 19, 2010

    Very good to see this coming to the area. Despite what others may believe or think base side range time is at a premium. These guys provide specialized training for certain military units that may not want to train on base.

    Also they plan on allowing shooting competitions on the weekends that will bring money to the area with lodging and restaurant use.

  • larieke Aug 19, 2010

    What with average citizens arming themselves against the bad guys, we definitely need places where they can learn to shoot straight.

  • smalldogsrule Aug 19, 2010

    The Army has plenty of firing ranges available already. It will not bring that much money in. Why do they think the DOC will give up on it's own firing ranges to pay these guys?

    This range also abuts a hunting preserve, the noise for continued use of this range will cuase a loss for that group. I think these guys need to go play with their guns somewhere else. Or maybe get a hobby.

  • Sherlock Aug 19, 2010

    This is needed in this area, the money it will bring in.