This is what a “no blue sky” shooting range looks like.
The baffles cover all the angles that a bullet can fly when shot from the firing positions under the covered shooting area. If the baffles are configured correctly and the shooter stays in the designated shooting position, he only sees baffles and no sky, hence the name.
Problems, in the form of errant bullets, can occur in several ways. One such way is if a bullet ricochets off of a surface within and exits the range area. Ballistic materials coating the baffled surfaces can mitigate this danger, but is it 100% effective? It must be 100% effective with homes so close. What about ricochets off pylons or footers or even off the ground? Side walls would also have to be coated with an absorbing ballistic material, otherwise they could provide ricochet surfaces.
Another problem can occur when a shooter steps away from the designated shooting area to fire, resulting in an errant bullet. This is more likely to happen in a public range where you have many more inexperienced shooters. You can see from the photo that there is lots of blue sky if you just take a small step out from that shooting area. A range officer can only do so much in terms of supervising, especially when there might be 20 people shooting at the same time.
Accidents do happen.
And they are more likely to happen with the high volume of 20 lanes and 7 days a week, 10am to 8pm shooting hours.
The question one must ask is, “why impose that risk on homeowners that are so close and so numerous to this range when a much better, more isolated location can be found?”
Throw in the factors of noise (quality of life), fear, and lost property values for hundreds of neighbors and you have to wonder why more of an effort hasn’t been put into finding a better, much better, location for a facility such as this.
Greene County Neighbors can help find a better location and we can even help gather funding for one. We’ve tried discussing these options and have put forward an offer to meet with a mediator. Unfortunately, the discussions were not fruitful and the mediator option was refused. Nevertheless, our offer still stands.
Next, we’ll cover where those errant bullets might land.