Shooters will lower their weapons
May 26, 2009
Neighbors near a shooting range on Silver Summit Parkway say they weren’t notified that explosions and target practice would be occurring near Trailside Park.
They have flooded county officials with complaints.
"They’ve been firing automatic weapons," Summit County Councilwoman Sally Elliott said.
The shooting is happening on land South Summit resident Nadine Gillmor owns adjacent to the LDS church on Silver Summit Parkway west of U.S. 40 in the Snyderville Basin.
"It’s only a matter of time before something untoward happens," Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson said.
A pedestrian trail which provides a popular path for students walking to and from Trailside Elementary School flanks Gillmor’s property.
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But people shooting at the range fire into uninhabited hills near Round Valley away from roads and houses, said Leo Williams, who is Gillmor’s son-in-law.
"We have the mountain and it’s just dirt and sage brush, and we were well over 500 feet off the road," Williams said. "We’ve had the sheriff come over on numerous occasions just to check on it. We’d call dispatch before we’d even fire a shot."
The only law Williams might have violated is Summit County’s noise ordinance, said David Thomas, a deputy Summit County attorney.
"Firearms we can’t regulate, however, noise we can regulate," Thomas said.
Only the Legislature sets state guns laws in Utah, he added.
But sound must be lowered if it is "plainly audible" from a county road, Thomas explained about noise regulations in the Basin.
Robinson encouraged Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies to ticket those who use noisy weapons at the range.
Shooters have used incendiary targets that explode when they’re hit, Summit County Councilman John Hanrahan said.
"So they know that they just blew the heck out of [an] orange target," Hanrahan said.
Meanwhile, in a telephone interview Tuesday, Williams said guns would no longer be shot on the property.
"We’re not going to shoot over at Trailside anymore," Williams said. "We weren’t over there trying to make enemies. We were over there exercising our right as a property owner."
The Park City area has lacked a gun range since the owner of land that housed a makeshift shooting gallery at Richardson Flat warned trespassers to keep out.
"We need to build a real shooting range that has some management to it and some volunteers that are willing to put forth the effort to make it a real nice facility," Williams said. "In the Snyderville Basin, Park City, Coalville and the Kamas Valley there are a lot of shooters and a lot of people would love to have a place to go."
Gillmor hopes to subdivide her property on Silver Summit Parkway, Williams said, adding that the potential developer asked him not to shoot as building permits are discussed.
"They’re trying to get the approval through the Planning Commission on that," Williams said. "We’ve talked to the guys who shoot over there and they’re willing to curtail their shooting in light of this development going through. We’re going to look for another spot to shoot."