Controversy heats up over Jackson County gun range

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LEONI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) — Controversy surrounding a gun range in Jackson County is expected to draw a big crowd to a township meeting Wednesday night.

In June, the gun range was given a cease and desist order by Leoni Township.

And last week, the township board voted for the range to be shut down.

But the fight continues, and township officials continue to weigh their options.

Joseph Rand has been shooting guns and teaching classes at Kickin Brass for decades.

“We help people out here. It’s a service. It’s a gun safety service,” Rand said.

However, the Leoni Township Board of Trustees feels the shooting range is operating like a business, and does not have a proper license for that.

“There is no such thing in the state of Michigan as gun range licensing. They’ve got the DNR paperwork, they’ve read it,” Rand said.

The range is located near Goose Lake, and the township also has concerns about safety.

“According to the NRA, the berms have to be 8 feet high. We have a 60 foot back berm,” Rand said.

This controversy is spreading all over Goose Lake.

Neighbors say noise from the range is ruining the serenity of the area, and driving away business.

“The noise is horrendous,” said Denise Barber, who owns the Lone Oak Vineyard with her husband, Kip.

Lone Oak is less than a mile from the range.

The owners say gunfire echoes all over the lake.

“We have a deck where people would like to relax and have a glass of wine, and it’s very disconcerting to hear machine guns, so they get up and leave,” Barber said.

The planning commission is meeting Wednesday night to discuss how shooting ranges should be operated in the township.

No vote on the future of Kickin Brass will take place.

But they will be taking advice from the township attorney.

This township action is happening as the community also wants to give input.

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