MARYLAND

Frederick residents fight proposed gun range, citing noise concerns

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FREDERICK, Md. (WJLA) – Nearly everyone who gathered to discuss a proposed gun range in Frederick Thursday night was against the idea.

The Sugarloaf Alliance is against a proposed gun range in Frederick, Md. (WJLA)

The fuss is about roughly 8 acres adjacent to Sugarloaf Mountain, near the Frederick-Montgomery County line. A company called Old Line Arsenal wants to build a gun range there—a facility to train the military and police, as well as civilians.

But many who live in the area are against the proposed range, not because they’re opposed to guns, but because of the potential noise. They say it just doesn’t fit.

In order to build the range, Old Line Arsenal must get an exception from the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals.

There was standing room only at Thursday night’s hearing. When asked, two citizens testified in favor of the gun range: firearm safety trainer Ryan Sanders and property owner William Valois.

“To have a facility in our home county where you’re able to get the proper training is a really great opportunity,” Sanders said.

“This is my neighborhood, too,” Valois said. “I can assure you, I’m going to be the biggest critic of the noise situation at the range, because I don’t want to hear any noise, anyway.”

But by far, most at the meeting were part of the Sugarloaf Alliance, the citizens group fighting the range.

“As any father does, I fear for the safety of my children,” said resident Richard Hudson. “This proposed firing range threatens the safety of not only my children, but of countless other individuals living and/or visiting the Sugarloaf area.”

“If I decide to retire someday and move to a smaller place … who will want to buy a horse farm next to a firearms facility?” said resident Francis Utzberger.

Nearly 300 people signed up to speak on the first list at Thursday night’s meeting, and another 200 signed up on the second list; each person gets four minutes to speak. The second part of the hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 2.

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