Gun rights advocates support proposed sporting clays range

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GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - In the midst of an election it's not political signs lining Dogtown Road in Goochland. But, rather protest signs against plans to build a sporting clays range a little more than a mile away from some of the homes.

“We are trying to convince the [Goochland] Planning Commission and the [Goochland] Board of Supervisors that this is not the thing to do because of the noise [a sporting clays range]  will create,” said resident Tucker Hill.

Andrew Dykers and his wife Nancy who own Orapax, a hunting preserve, applied for the sporting clays permit.

Nancy Dykers who did not want to appear on camera tells CBS 6 she doesn’t believe neighbors will hear the sporting clays gunfire because it’s more than a mile away from the neighbors who are complaining.

Still, some residents say they still hear the gunshots from the preserve, and Amy Galloway, whose property backs up to the hunting preserve separated by a tin wall erected by the Dykers, says she will definitely hear the sporting clays gunfire.

“To hear it echo off of a tin wall is disgraceful,” said Galloway.

While neighbors feel they have a county ordinance on their side claiming the sporting clays range would disrupt their comfort and hurt property values., the Dykers have the gun rights advocates on their side.

Two websites are encouraging gun owners to attend the hearing on the issue: Defense Carry and Virginia Gun Trader.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League supports the Dykers.

“It's a way for citizens who don't have enough land of their own to go somewhere to do this,” he said.

But Hill, who says the majority of residents of who oppose the sporting clays range are hunters, says this has nothing to do with gun rights.

“It's about someone who wants to put a facility regardless of what his neighbors think,” he said.

The Dykers have been denied a permit for a sporting clays range twice by the Goochland Board of Supervisors. But, Nancy Dykers says this time the range is a little farther away from the homes than in years past – although she couldn’t tell me how much farther away. What’s more, Dykers says she and her husband want the sporting clays range and have the right to have one.

Meanwhile, residents are creating a website to support their cause.

The hearing before the Goochland Planning Commission is set for September 20th.