Deadwood leaders OK in-city shooting range

August 20, 2013 | By: AP
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City commissioners in the Old West town of Deadwood have approved a shooting range within city limits, despite opposition by some residents in the western South Dakota community.

Businessman and retiring FBI agent Greg Vecchi wants to open the range in partnership with local campground owner Tom Blair in an area surrounded by high ridges.

“I’m not just some wing nut who is going to be firing bullets all over,” Vecchi said. “We have a plan. We’ve done our due diligence. There’s no noise, no gunshot noise that can be discerned. It’s the distance and the height of the surrounding ridges that baffles the noise.”

Police Chief Kelly Fuller said in a report that test firings last week showed that the range will have minimal effects on noise levels in the Whistler Gulch Campground and no effect outside of it, the Rapid City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/17GIEKq ).

“Taking into account the topography, line of sight and isolation from residential neighborhoods, I am comfortable with this location for its proposed use,” the chief said.

Some residents spoke in favor of the range during Monday night’s City Commission meeting, but resident and former city commissioner Ronda Feteryl said she worries about harm to the environment and a drop in property values.

“I have a lot concerns about it coming into our neighborhood,” she said. “I don’t want it in my neighborhood.”

The commission voted unanimously to approve the range after about an hour of discussion.

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