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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
CROSS POSTED FOR THOSE NOT ON FACEBOOK

Mike Strickland
August 5 at 9:39pm · Fayetteville, GA
Spoke with Sheriff Babb today, trying to arrange the meeting with Philip & whomever to discuss the Fayette county range & the possibility of citizen usage. I wasn't able to get a meeting scheduled, but did have a lengthy conversation about the range, that we wanted a safe, concentrated, controlled environment for the citizens to be able to shoot outdoors. I mentioned that several folks were attending a NRA-RSO course to be prepared, if we were needed. He stated he was not a fan of the thought of folks other than the LEOs of the county/cities in Fayette County using the facility. Additionally, he had made a promise to the citizens living close to the range site that this group were the only folks that would be using the range. The sound levels/frequency being the issue there. He also stated that he thought that the county could not provide the level of liability coverage that would be required for the non-professional use of the range. He did say for us to prepare a proposal and he would listen, but we will need hard data (sound, resident surveys, examples of other entities that allow public use, etc.) to dispel the sound issues and a liability plan. I did mention to him that Henry County had a range that was funded by their drug money seizures and was open to the public periodically. He said he did not know that but would give the sheriff there a call to see how they handled the range being used by the public. No time frame for a response was provided. I'm sure I omitted some stuff, but at least we know have a starting point and can possibly move forward with a sorry to be late in getting this done, we traded calls/messages for a while before connecting.

Glenn Puckett
This is a forward step. Now we have a feeling for the objections we need to overcome.
August 5 at 9:50pm · Unlike · 2

Philip Doolittle
Excellent work! Now we have real objections and a starting point. In a few days I'll review the todos and update the list. Looks like a proposal will get added to that list.

Sheriff O didn't respond, but I will ping him again.

Now that we have broached the idea with the Sheriff, it might be time to start feeling out commissioners. Thoughts?
August 5 at 9:54pm · Edited · Like · 2

Mike Strickland
I agree, that we open a dialogue with the commissioners, off line, to get a feel for where they are at with the possibility of the range.
August 5 at 10:10pm · Unlike · 2

Larry Blanks
It's still my opinion that time would be better spent lobbying the county for a separate range rather than using a police range. I know there are libility and insurance issues, but NRA offers a lot of consulting and advice on how to overcome that obstacle. If you look at a satellite view of the Links golf course, there are few homes surrounding that property and a large buffer of wooded area. I think that was an excuse rather than a reality.
August 7 at 9:56am · Like

Philip Doolittle
Interesting idea. Is Babb likely to support us in that endeavour if it shuts down our attempts to use his range? Surely he must realize that we could be successful with the commissioners. Sounds like a win-win for him.
August 7 at 10:20am · Like

Larry Blanks
NRA offers "Range Services" when my include consulting on how to lobby local governments . http://range.nra.org/
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Philip Doolittle
7 hrs
Just hung up with Steve Brown. He is not only an ally, but an advocate. But he's not on board with "public" use for reasons stated below. I informed him we had a small group dedicated to this task. Here is a rather rough summary of the call.

Short version
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He supports and will officially "spearhead " (his word) access to the range for limited, well credentialed, safe group for the purposes of "public safety" training. If that works our well, then we can try for a bigger bite of the elephant.

Range
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- The new facility is paid for by the county, but 100% under the Sheriff's control. I got the distinct impression the Co forcing his hand is a no-go.
- Because of noise and citizens fear of gunfire near the park, it appears the old range is closing permanently.
- Steve's personal concern with "public: access is the reality that it's almost impossible to revoke later if capacity becomes an issue.
- He favors approaching it as a public safety/training program, then trying to expand from there once successful. Example: Women and guns.
- He thinks a private range would be wildly successful and would support efforts to develop that as well.
- Having accredited RSOs and Instructors is a plus.
- We would need a means to screen shooters. I suggested that GWCL's required BG checks and should suffice. He agreed. Based on this part of the discussion, I do not believe he has a GWCL.
- A partnership between our group and the SO is the most effective structure. I see us assuming much responsibility as a gatekeeper.
- As a public safety training issue, we would probably fall under co liability ins.

Unanswered
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- Time and cell signal left us, so I was unable to ask about county money for an additional range.

To Do
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- He would like us to put together examples of gov ranges with public safety classes and present them to him. He will take that and present it to the county (incl the Sheriff) as a worthwhile endeavor
- I invited him to meet with us at Dunkin Doughnuts, and he wants to know when.

Personal
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- He appears to be a diehard republican, supporting the party platform (including firearms).
- He very much wants to see a republican win Dist 5
- He very much believes the 54 expansion is a poison pill for
FayCo
- He grew up near me in Dekalb and watched Fulton county come down Memorial Drive and decimate Stone Mountain, which was "the" place to live in the early 80s. He very much fears the same for FayCo.
 

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I assume that since the state preemption law, 16-11-173, allows counties to ban outdoor shooting entirely, that means the county could create rules and conditions for using its outdoor shooting range facilities. Such as that the person must have passed a firearms safety class. And / or sat through a presentation about range safety and rules for this particular facility.

If people had to take an NRA safety class to use this this range, and local gun shops and indoor shooting ranges offered such classes for a fee and earned a profit from that training, maybe that would give places like Autry's Armory a reason not to oppose public use of a County-owned outdoor range.

As for opening up an entirely separate range for public use, not law enforcement use, normally I would say that's not a legitimate role of local government, but HERE IN FAYETTE COUNTY, the local government has pretty much banned outdoor shooting with anything other than shotguns, thanks to their stupid laws and huge land lot size requirements. You've got to own a million dollars worth of land to legally fire your $200 Russian rifle under the blue sky.

So maybe a new County-owned shooting park would be a good idea.

Is there a county landfill? Piles of trash would make excellent backstops for bullets. And landfills are already located in the most remote areas of the county where people are more tolerant of noise and funny smells.

I think the only way to make any public outdoor range safe is to have a range officer on the property at all times, and actively supervising public shooting, combined with full and positive ID of everybody on the property. Not just shooters, but every member of the group. All should have to show I.D. and check-in for every visit. Otherwise you'll have ******** bringing old televisions to the range to shoot them up, and people shooting fireworks and rockets there and setting the woods on fire, and hood-rats from Clayton County coming over to try to steal some guns from the firing line while the shooters are all downrange changing their targets...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pseudo notes from, and mini status Update since 8/27 meeting:

Next Meeting - TBD, but soon. Suggestions for a time/place.

Ed - Provided excellent research on county operated ranges (hard copy). The material provided is excellent reading, if you haven't looked at it already. I got about halfway through and the wife tossed it (Grrr). Can someone let me borrow theirs to copy?

Brian - Checking county for available, suitable land. Is making progress with the county land mapping.

Philip - Behind schedule. Just got back from vacation, have not contacted Bean or Riley (dist #5 candidates). Anyone want to take this?

John - Any luck contacting Mr Coston (prospective D5 candidate)??

Larry - Has a potential land donor. Any luck with the landowner? To call Charles Oddo for his take on the project?

Kurt - Your comments have been reposted to Facebook verbatim today.
 
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