To the editor:
It makes no sense to me and many hundreds of members and friends of the Tiverton Rod and Gun Club (TRGC) that the Town of Tiverton would pass an ordinance essentially putting TRGC, a long established (81 consecutive years, since 1933), very popular (almost 1,000 members, many hundreds from Tiverton) sportsmen’s club, out of business to limit/stop construction of a new commercial building that would house an indoor shooting range.
This seems especially foolish when considering the recent million dollar expense incurred by this club and its owners/members to protect themselves and the club’s surrounding neighborhood by providing the very latest up to date indoor and outdoor shooting facilities and operating procedures to fully meet current NRA shooting safety and environmental safety standards. These facilities were coordinated with and approved by appropriate Tiverton officials and are the most up to date in the state.
There isn’t going to be a rush to build a multitude of indoor ranges in Tiverton. To try to control a single new indoor shooting range by means of a very broad-based (all types of firearms, air guns, archery, etc.), very complex (indoors/outdoors, private/public, hunting/shooting, new buildings/existing buildings, existing local and state laws, noise, air quality, etc.) and very costly (engineering studies galore) licensing ordinance seems like the wrong way forward.
No one argues that any new building to be built for a particular use should meet acceptable safety and environmental standards protecting its owners, users and the surrounding neighborhood that exists where it is to be built. Clearly, an indoor shooting range is a special, potentially more risky use for a commercial building than just a storefront or office, and Planning Board, Building Department and Fire Marshal considerations should treat it accordingly in the permitting process.
Let’s be rational. Defeat the proposed shooting range licensing ordinance before the Town Council and charge the Planning Board, Building Department, the Town’s consulting engineers and the Fire Marshal with doing what is necessary to insure that, if a building housing an indoor shooting range can be built on the proposed site, it will be completely safe and environmentally secure for its owners, users and the surrounding neighborhood. Don’t do harm to a long-time Tiverton sporting institution serving many hundreds of Tiverton citizens and their families to avoid dealing directly with this new commercial building issue.
Mr. Platte is a member of the Tiverton Rod and Gun Club.