PROSPECT, Conn. (WTNH) – Neighbors disagree over Prospect’s proposed outdoor gun range.
The Prospect Gun Club submitted an application to become an outdoor sporting club, with three outdoor firing ranges and 36 stalls. The club would move from its current location on Cheshire Road to open land on New Haven Road in Prospect.
The town’s planning and zoning commission has not yet approved the club’s application. Meanwhile, a town resident submitted a proposal to remove “outdoor ranges” for the town’s zoning regulations to prevent more from coming to town.
The proposed change in regulations wouldn’t affect the Prospect Gun Club’s application because they filed for a new location before the idea was submitted.
On Wednesday night, the Prospect Planning and Zoning Commission held a second public hearing on the proposal inside the community center’s gym.
Neighbors packed the room and voiced their opinions on the matter.
Some are against gun ranges in their community.
“I have my five-year-old daughter playing in the garden, which is directly in the line of the suggested shooting gun range,” said Gunnar Lauer from Bethany.
“It’s very stressful to hear repeated gunshots near where you are,” said Tom Nordby from Bethany. “It affects you physically and mentally.”
Ron McClaslin, a member of the Prospect Gun Club, said a gun range is the safest place to learn how to use a firearm.
“I’m opposed to any changes that have anything to do with taking away safe places for anybody to take a firearm and shoot,” he told the commission.
“Without a legitimate range, folks may resort to shooting in their own backyards if they have enough acreage,” said Dave Smolkis, a Prospect resident in favor of gun ranges. “This may possibly make our communities unsafe without a controlled environment.”
The planning and zoning commission did not make a decision on the proposal Wednesday.
There is a separate public hearing on the Prospect Gun Club’s application on April 5.