Rutherford Institute Enters Battle over Proposed Firing Range - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Rutherford Institute Enters Battle over Proposed Firing Range

Posted: Updated: Feb 5, 2013 10:14 PM EST

Many people have voiced their concerns regarding the proposed firing range at the Old Keene Landfill. Now, the Rutherford Institute is standing behind them.

The Rutherford Institute is best known for winning fights for constitutional rights. Now, it has stepped into a different kind of battle – over the proposed firing range.

"It's an unwise decision; you don't want an outdoor shooting range next to a school or a church or a community swimming pool or 5,000 residences," said John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.

The Rutherford Institute sent out a letter to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, stating the proposed firing range poses a safety threat as it's less than two miles from an elementary school. It also cites excessive noise and environmental problems.

Albemarle Supervisor Ken Boyd says this is nothing new.

"There's nothing new in there that we haven't heard from the constituents in the southern part of the county," Boyd said.

Boyd also says these concerns are being taken into consideration.

"We have listened, we appreciate very much the people that have pointed these issues out to us and we're considering other options," he said.

The institute says this is simply a common sense issue.

"An outdoor shooting range? Where thousands of bullets will be going off? All it takes is one stray bullet and you've got a catastrophe," Whitehead said.

It also believes the board won't go forward with the range. But if it does, the Rutherford Institute is prepared to fight back.

"We've already told people that because of the danger of the children here we would be willing to look at a lawsuit but I think common sense dictates that an alternative facility should be found," Whitehead said.

The Board of Supervisors will be discussing the firing range issue Wednesday. It is expected to bring some alternative options to the table and will hear from both the police department and those against the firing range.

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