Proposed indoor gun range gets TLTI support letter

Steve Day, representing the Loyalist Gun Club, makes a presentation to Leeds and the Thousand Islands council on Nov. 24, 2015. Day, representing the Loyalist Shooting Club, would like to open an indoor shooting range in the municipality. (Photo/Livestream/TLTI)

LANSDOWNE – Leeds and the Thousand Islands council has helped the proponent for a proposed indoor gun range move his idea forward.

Council voted Tuesday afternoon to give the Loyalist Shooting Club a letter of support in order for it to make an application to the provincial government for a firearms business licence.

“This is simply a support (letter) but in no way does it endorse or say this is a finished project,” said Mayor Joe Baptista.

Baptista said there would be opportunity for the public to weigh in as the proposal came forward.

The proponent, Steve Day, is also the managing partner of Reticle Ventures Canada Inc., which is also proposing a training site for police and the military at the Brockville airport.

Day, who has a background in counter-terrorism, told council the Loyalist Shooting Club, formed in August, was an entirely separate venture and this was an “azimuth check” for the idea.

The proposed “state-of-the-art, premier destination” facility would be a 10-lane, 25 meter indoor shooting range, unlike the various outdoor shooting ranges in the region. It would be roughly 40 feet by 120 feet.

Coun. Jeff Lackie asked about proposed membership. Day said it would have fewer members and higher fees but would be open to new members.

As for concerns about sound pollution, Day said the facility, made in Las Vegas, Nev. is very quiet. “You’re not going to hear much from this indoor range,” he told council.

Day said an identical indoor facility for CBSA training, in Chilliwack, B.C., has a daycare center 300 feet from the range.

As for a location, Day said they are actively talking with area businesses and would ideally like to find a decommissioned school. “In an ideal world…I’d like to have a school with three-phase power and natural gas. We are looking for different locations that are zoned appropriately.”

Coun. John Paul Jackson also addressed concerns from the public. “Before anybody starts the NIMBY attitude, I think what we have to do is go back and wait and see what happens. This is simply the first step,” Jackson said.

As for the public discourse, Day didn’t rule out relocating a proposed training site near the Brockville airport, where it’s facing public opposition from neighbours in Elizabethtown-Kitley.

“I am open to the discussion of potentially relocating some of those training capabilities to your township,” he said, though he wasn’t prepared to discuss that option Tuesday night.

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