Mountain View County targets gun club

Mountain View County is taking aim at a gun range that has generated numerous noise complaints from irritated neighbours.

Mountain View County is taking aim at a gun range that has generated numerous noise complaints from irritated neighbours.

Reeve Paddy Munro said the county is close to unveiling its plan to deal with persistent problems with the range about six km west of Olds.

It is operated by the Mountain View Marksman Association.

“Within, I think, two or three weeks we’re going to take a different action,” said Munro, who wouldn’t say exactly what the county plans until more research has been done and an approach finalized.

“Definitely the gun club is a huge issue for our ratepayers in that area. It’s just such a difficult situation.

“But we’ve come up with some very reasonable ideas to deal with the problem.”

The county had been considering a noise bylaw to deal with complaints from neighbours, but that is not what the county is now proposing, he said.

The county is looking to the club to take more control of its operation to address concerns.

Last September, 23 area residents signed a joint request urging council to pull the gun club’s permits and shut down the range. The municipality’s lawyer and administration said it was better to regulate the club through a noise bylaw.

The problems started when the original gun club of a few dozen members gave way to the Marksman Association, which has 1,200 members, most of them from the Calgary area.

“It’s just a totally different scope than what the project originally started out at. It’s just too big and too much impact from where it is.”

Munro said neighbour complaints “have just been endless” since the Calgary club became active a number of years ago.

“The amount of shooting has gone up 50 times as much.”

He described the racket as sounding like a “war zone.”

A gun club representative could not be reached for comment on Monday.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com