Franklin County Commission

The possibility of a shooting range opening in southeast Franklin County has some area residents worried and angry.

About eight residents spoke out against the proposed shooting range opening in the Lonedell area off Highway 47.

They say that the range would be noisy and dangerous.

But Robert Dix of St. Louis, who is proposing the range, ensures that it will be built in a fashion to hold down noise. He also said it would be safe.

The residents spoke out against the range during a public hearing before the Franklin County Commission Tuesday.

The public hearing was not on the range itself but on amending the county’s land-use regulations to allow for shooting ranges to be eligible for a conditional use permit in agricultural and nonurban zoning districts.

The county’s planning and zoning commission already voted 10-0 to recommend the change to the county’s regulations.

County commissioners Tuesday took the proposed change under advisement.

Dix is seeking the change to the code to accommodate the shooting range. He is scheduled to take the proposal for the actual shooting range to the county planning and zoning commission next Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Franklin County Commission Chambers.

Lonedell resident Gwen Stein said people who live peaceful, country lifestyles do not want to be exposed to repetitive shooting from an outdoor gun range.

Residents against the gun range said it is not fair to compare a shooting range to hunting because hunting results in one or two shots daily, while a gun range would be constant firing.

But Dix said the decibels produced from the firing could be compared to vehicle traffic.

Helen Jackson said if the gun range is approved, she will have to sell her home or build a fortress for protection.

J. Anthony Dill expressed concern for a nearby Boy Scout camping area. But Dix said the shooting range will not endanger the children.

Commissioners withheld their feelings on the range as the matter is taken under advisement.

Dix estimates that the proposed shooting range would draw 25-30 people a day and that a corporate event for an activity such as skeet shooting could draw around 30 people at a time.