A local gun range that has taken some flak from its neighbors was able to return fire this week when its owners appeared before Alamance County’s board of commissioners to lay out the case for their venue.
The proprietors of Rad Range Training and Events Center ultimately approached the commissioners on Monday in order to dispute the claims of excessive noise that their critics had previously shared with the county’s governing board.
Rad’s owners, who were joined by an entourage of well wishers and patrons, availed themselves of a designated public comment period to address the commissioners. Under the board’s longstanding policy, only three of the range’s defenders were able to get any words in that evening. Yet, their collective statements seemed to hit the mark with the board’s chairman, John Paisley, Jr., who suggested as much after the comment period.
Among those who addressed the commissioners on Monday was Rudy Cartassi, who owns and operates Rad Range with his business partner David Simmons.
Cartassi, who is also a candidate for the board of commissioners in next month’s Republican primary, provided the board’s current members with some decibel readings which he said confirm that the volume of his operation isn’t excessive. He also directed the board to a state statute that he said exempts his business from the county’s noise ordinance.
Cartassi went on to appeal to the commissioners on behalf of all the gun owners who frequent his business and the others like it that dot the unincorporated areas of Alamance County.
“We have over 150 paying members,” he said. “People have a right to shoot in the county because we can’t shoot in the city, and we have to protect that right.”
The commissioners heard a similar invocation of personal liberties from area resident David Murphy, who urged the county’s elected leaders not to intrude on those rights through noise regulations.
“I’ve got several people around me who shoot on a regular basis,” Murphy acknowledged, “and I would never complain to the county under a noise ordinance. Why? Because it sounds like freedom to me!”
Rad Range also received a vote of confidence from Richard Clark, who identified himself as the closest neighbor to this venue’s grounds off of Jim Barnwell Road in the northern part of the county. Clark offered himself up as something of an authority on noise readings, and informed the commissioners that he has even obtained a patent for a hearing test that he has developed.
“My hearing has always been important to me,” he added, “At my shop, which is the closest building to the [gun range’s] targets, there isn’t anything [in terms of noise] that’s going to hurt anybody.”