Residents and gun range fight over noise levels

TODD MISSION, TX (KTRK) -- Ken Dearmond lives in rural Grimes County for the peace and quiet. He says there's a lot less of it these days, and so do his neighbors.

"Being in the house or out on the porch and the bombs going off," Drummond said. "It's terribly bad."

"The shooting is not as bad as the bombs," added Mill Creek neighbor Alexandra Marcotte. "The bombs go off and we all duck."

The "bomb" noise is from exploding targets called "sure shot" that are sometimes used at a newly opened gun range, called the Renaissance Shooting Club. It is adjacent to the Mill Creek neighborhood off of FM 1774.

The gun range opened a couple months ago.

Adam Collette, a former Marine, is the range owner and lives on the property. He says he hears his neighbor's concerns.

"I'm trying to be a good neighbor the best I can," said Collette. "We notify them before we're going to explode anything. I've offered to do a text notification."

Collette showed us the range which is under construction. He pointed out the 24-foot high beam behind the range.

"As a gun range owner, it's about safety," he said. "Not just for my shooters that are here shooting. But for my neighbors as well."

Those neighbors want more than assurances. They want the peace and quiet they say existed before the gun range opened its gates.

They may not get it any time soon.

Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell has dispatched deputies to the neighborhoods and the range. They checked decibel levels and informally consulted the ATF.

"There are no laws violated," said Sheriff Sowell. "However, I've got them doing research. That way if deputies do respond, there's some sort of legal authority that we can enhance that would be one thing but at this point I don't see anything. They don't see anything."

Residents told Eyewitness News they won't quit. Their next step is to voice their concerns at a Grimes County Commission meeting.

Collette isn't quitting either.

"I'm here to stay," he said.
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