of the audience who would be affected by the reopening of
the Hartland Sportsmen’s Club’s gun ranges in Delafield were
asked by a resident to stand during a portion of Monday’s
Common Council meeting, where the bid to reopen was
Josh Perttunen/Freeman Staff
- The Common Council unanimously denied the Hartland
Sportsmen’s Club’s bid to reopen its gun ranges in the city,
saying Monday that such a use is no longer compatible with
the surrounding area.
by the proximity of the gun club to neighborhoods and businesses
and roads,” said Alderwoman Jackie Valde. “I’m bothered by what
seems to be a disconnect. (With) decades of the club being
there, I didn’t hear a single citizen’s support. If you’re such
a good neighbor, why are (the neighbors) so unhappy?”
was one such neighbor, voicing safety concerns that his business
directly north of the club could be in danger.
every one of those ranges points directly at my property,
directly at the building,” he said. “Several point directly at
the patio. When they say they will be shooting at 2.5 degrees
and shooting at eight degrees could clear the range, that’s not
much of a difference.”
Levinson, the club’s attorney, said that the city’s decision is
a violation of state law. Up until the club was shut down in
2010, the council allowed the gun club to coexist with many of
these same neighborhoods and businesses.
shut down a gun club just because you’ve allowed development to
occur right up to its boundaries, and now you want it to leave,”
to work with the city,” he added. “And they’ve been willing to
play along as we addressed every single safety concern. With all
of those concerns addressed, we now we see their real reasons
for denial - and we’ll have to consider other options.”
that development could squeeze out gun ranges in Wisconsin’s
rural areas, the state Legislature developed a bill to protect
them, Levinson said.
were closed nearly three years ago - after a stray, spent bullet
from the facility struck a pregnant woman dining outdoors at the
Delafield Brewhaus. Since then, Levinson said, the club has
reinvented itself with new physical safety measures at the site,
new standards and rules and a range officer program for
oversight of shooters.
Aicher said that though the club has had various presentations
to prove safety was foremost on its members’ minds, they were
offering adjustments right up until the end. Though the club
said this was a demonstration of its flexibility, Aicher saw
this as something else.
still wet paint on the proposal after three years,” he said.