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Coventry residents upset over proposed gun range

WJAR

A proposed 800-yard long gun range off of rural Town Farm Road in Coventry has many residents of the town upset. The proposed site sits on a former small air strip cut into a thick forest area. But residents say it is too close to area homes.

"We're going to be hearing that noise all day long and it could be going into the evening. And it's going to be every day of the week," said Lynda Marzahn, a resident of nearby Mile Road.

Marzahn says that large weapons, some that can fire 50 caliber bullets, are going to be allowed to be used there. She says these types of bullets are used by military snipers and can travel up to three miles. In addition, they’re loud and residents say they don’t want to have to listen to shots being fired all day.

“It sounds like a cannon when it goes off,” says Marzahn of one of the bullets being fired.

Another issue that opponents to the gun range have is its proximity to the Washington Oak Elementary School. One of the problems they bring up: should kids at school be exposed to hearing gunshots all day?

The school is about a mile and a half drive from the proposed range site, and even less than that in a straight line connecting the two locations. Also, Marzahn says about seventy homes are within that same proximity.

"The property value is going to go down,” explains Marzahn. “How would you sell your property? Who's going to come, look at your home, hear gunshots, and make an offer?"

The property developer, John Psilopoulos is the owner of Proline Firearms - a gun store in Warwick. In a statement to NBC 10, he says he is working with Coventry officials for approvals of the project. He also says in part, "The protocol advanced for the facility incorporates the best safety and management practices used by similar operations across the Country (sic). In striving to gain the approvals necessary to develop the facility, our goal is to establish a state of the art shooting range for members of the community to use safely and responsibly for training purposes."

A zoning board meeting is scheduled at Coventry Town Hall on Wednesday at 7pm. Many residents are expected to attend.

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