Clovis shooting range draws complaints

The Fresno BeeAugust 29, 2012 

About 40 Clovis citizens attended a community meeting at the Clovis Police Department on Wednesday night to complain about a shooting range that opened this year near their neighborhood.

The neighbors bemoaned the amount of noise produced at The Firing Line, at 1173 E. Dayton Ave. The range is adjacent to homes and industrial businesses.

They complained -- some even yelling -- that noise and traffic have become problems surrounding the range.

"How would you like to be entertaining on your back patio and then hear boom, boom, boom," said Linda Weyant of Clovis, a homeowner who lives near the range.

The range, owned by Jacob Belemjian, opened in March and operates seven days a week.

Residents said they fear that the community and police would be desensitized to potential crime problems because of the constant noise.

"When I hear a jet go over me I am not alarmed, but when I hear a gunshot I don't know if someone got shot or if someone is just at the range," said Harold Higgins, who lives six houses from the business.

Belemjian said his business is in compliance with city standards, and city officials agree.

The neighbors "are attempting to stoke the fire," Belemjian said. "We have done everything they (the city) have asked and told us to do and even more than that."

But neighbors did not agree.

"I love shooting and the smell of gunpowder, but it is just a little too close to home for me," said James Reilly, who lives down the street from the range.

Lynne Ashbeck, Clovis mayor pro tem, said that the next step for the neighborhood is for neighbors, city employees and police to gather more information for further review.

Clovis Senior Planner Bryan Araki said the earliest a review could happen is in January 2013, three months before the firing range's conditional-use permit expires.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6659, or @ezraromero on Twitter.

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