Despite court order, gunfire still sounds at Harnett shooting range
Posted April 18, 2014 6:20 p.m. EDT
Updated April 21, 2014 1:31 p.m. EDT
Fuquay-Varina, N.C. — Although a Superior Court judge ruled last month that a Harnett County shooting range violates local zoning rules, gunfire continues to sound there, much to the dismay of nearby residents who have fought to close the site for years.
"Bang, bang, bang, bang from early morning till late at night," said Lynwood Hare, who lives about a quarter-mile "as the bullet flies" from Drake Landing.
Hare is among the residents along Chalybeate Springs Road who have fought against Drake Landing and won the latest battle – but still may lose the war.
In a move that would put an end to the target practice, Judge Winston Gilchrist ruled last month that Drake Landing doesn't qualify for an agritourism exemption from local zoning rules. But Gilchrist referred the matter back to Harnett County's Board of Adjustment, which granted the exemption last year after months of debate.
John Bryant, an attorney for the shooting range, said Friday that Drake Landing owner Dan Andrews plans to apply for a conditional-use permit. If approved, such a permit would allow the facility to circumvent zoning regulations.
Andrews said he recently closed the rifle range, which is considered the loudest element of Drake Landing's offerings, as a concession to his neighbors.
Hare said the gunfire is "not as bad as it has been," but he said his concerns go beyond noise, noting that a nearby home has been hit several times.
He said he thought Drake Landing would have been silenced by now, and he plans to pray through Easter weekend in hopes that it soon will be.
"I was raised in a Christian home," he said. "I know the Lord's answered prayers."