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Petition received to shutter Carroll shooting range

May 09, 2018
CARROLL—Local business owner Jack Catalano has urged the Select Board to close an open-air, town-owned shooting range, which sits across from his Living Waters Campground on Route 302.

The range in is a sand and gravel pit with a high backdrop near the center of town, less then 1,000 feet from Catalano's campground. By law, shooting may be allowed in such areas if the earthen backdrop is high and durable enough to catch stray bullets. The parcels meets this standard, though as a piece of town-owned property, it falls under the ultimate authority of the Select Board. It is adjacent to the Carroll Recreation Area, which includes trails and play areas.

Accompanied by some several neighbors and supporters, Catalano told the Select Board that the shooting range made his guests feel unsafe, and questioned the sense of allowing firearms near to where children play.

Residents have also reported hearing more louder sounds, as if from large explosions. Catalano said that such noises rattle his windows.

In his letter to the Select Board, Catalano complained that the loud, unpredictable noises harm the peace of mind of his campground's guests, and threaten his business, which he has owned for some 28 years.

"That open air firing range is destroying everything that I have worked to build over all those years," he wrote, and argued that disgruntled and frightened visitors would spread the word, harming Carroll's reputation as a destination town.

"We might as well rename our town 'Little Syria'," he continued.

Catalano emphasized that he was a gun owner, but that that were better locations for such activities.

According to resident Vern Amirault, gunshots from the range can be heard in many parts of town.

Public complaints about the range have been few, according to Carroll Police Chief John Trammell.

Planing Board member Richard Kropf has suggested that a more precise schedule might allay some of he concerns. However, Catalano rejected the idea at last month's Select Board meeting, and argued that the sound was problematic at any time of day.

According to Chair Dave Scalley, the Select Board has the power to determine whether firearms and explosions will be allowed on public parcels like the firing range. At last month's meeting the Board declined to make a final decision on the issue.

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