Sheriff's shooting range meeting sparks emotion - WNCN: News, Weather

Sheriff's shooting range meeting sparks emotion

By Annette Newell

A bullet battle in Harnett County has neighbors afraid.

Residents living near the Drake Landing hunting preserve expressed their concerns to Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins Tuesday night as he hosted his first-ever public forum of more than 100 people at the Harnett County Government Complex.

Drake Landing is a hunting preserve and shooting range that's been under fire from neighbors for noise and safety worries. The county ruled it is an agritourism business, so local zoning laws don't apply.

Neighbors of Drake Landing have filed suit asking superior court to overturn a decision to zone the business as agritourism.

The residents say bullets from the shooting range and hunting preserve are hitting their houses.

"[A] round came right through the ceiling ... and hit the other side of the wall, made a dent in the sheet rock, and then ricocheted back onto the bed," homeowner Glenn Finch said.

Finch says the sheriff's department indicated to him that the gun used to get such a shot was a "308, high-powered rifle."

He says most days you can hear gunshots in Harnett County neighborhoods.

Drake Landing's owner Dan Andrews would not comment for this story. Meanwhile, his father, Harnett County Commissioner Dan Andrews Sr., hasn't answered calls from NBC-17.

While Finch doesn't want to say the fact that the father of the owner of Drake Landing happens to be a county commissioner could play a role in zoning decisions, he says "there may be a conflict of interest."

Kerry Finch, Glenn's daughter-in-law, lives nearby and says she believes there is a conflict of interest.

Kerry's been posting signs, handing out flyers and encouraging neighbors to come to the sheriff's forum on the issue.

"People are worried that their houses aren't safe and their children aren't safe, their dogs aren't safe, livestock -- we have cows, horses," Kerry explained.

The sheriff's department took two rifles from Drake Landing and sent them for testing to compare the guns to a bullet shot inside a local home.

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