- Associated Press - Thursday, January 15, 2015

GRAF, Iowa (AP) - Some neighbors of a proposed law enforcement shooting range in eastern Iowa are worried about safety and how the range might affect their properties.

Members of the Dubuque County Zoning Board were joined by nearly two dozen residents Wednesday to inspect the nearly 68 acres of property near Graf, the Telegraph Herald reported (https://bit.ly/17KQlFF ). The Dubuque Drug Task Force wants to obtain a county permit to create a berm-protected shooting range that could be used only by law enforcement.

Early plans include the installation of a 100-yard, 20-position shooting range that could only be used up to 80 days each year primarily for firearm training and testing for certification. A controlled entrance would be the only access, and surveillance cameras would likely be mounted.

Dan Waller, a nearby cattle farmer, told board members that he and his neighbors fear the range would affect their livelihoods. Gunfire could scare cattle in the area, he said, which could affect spring calving season.

“This was zoned agriculture for a reason,” Waller said.

Tom Flynn, who also owns nearby land, said the most significant issue for him and his neighbors is the direction of the gunfire, especially because the area is heavily trafficked.

“I’m concerned about the safety of the people around us that may be exposed … If you have an errant shot, what is the risk of that?” he said.

But Dubuque County Sheriff Department Sgt. Gary Pape said officers have limited options. Currently, local officers use a rented quarry or public shooting ranges for firearm practice, both of which aren’t practical, Pape said.

A public hearing to discuss the proposal is scheduled for next week.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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