Plan for gun range in Greene gets shot down

Tilahun Goshu, an Ethiopian ex-prisoner and refugee, built his dream home in Greene County, only to learn an open-air gun range is proposed right outside his backyard. The county's Board of Supervisors has denied the proposal. Photo by Ron Rammelkamp Tilahun Goshu, an Ethiopian ex-prisoner and refugee, built his dream home in Greene County, only to learn an open-air gun range is proposed right outside his backyard. The county’s Board of Supervisors has denied the proposal. Photo by Ron Rammelkamp

The Greene County Board of Supervisors denied on October 13 Big Iron Outdoors’ special use permit, which would have allowed owners of the gun shop to build a 20-lane open-air firing range right outside its headquarters.

At the end of September, the Planning Commission recommended denial of the permit because of safety—about 160 homes are located within a half-mile of the proposed site. A group heavily opposed to the range, Greene County Neighbors, cited safety, noise, home values and impact on lifestyle as key reasons for nixing the plan.

Carolyn Politis, a local resident and member of Greene County Neighbors, says she’s pleased the Board of Supervisors put aside popular support to make a decision on what she believes is best for the Ruckersville area. She still hopes to see a new gun range in Greene, but one that isn’t in her backyard.

“We are hoping that someone can take on this challenge, but in a way that families are protected,” she says. “Quite simply, it should not be anywhere near homes.”

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