Douglas trying to be up to code for gun range |

Douglas trying to be up to code for gun range

by Kurt Hildebrand
Pat McKinnish, owner of Guns N Ammo stands in a space that he would like to build a 25-yard indoor gun range.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

A code change is in the works to add indoor gun ranges to the county code as a use in Douglas County.

County commissioners heard an appeal from Guns N Ammo’s Pat McKinnish, who’s seeking to open a gun range in a Gardnerville building under the county code as an indoor recreational use, at their July 3 meeting.

Nobody opposes the idea of an indoor gun range, staff members said, but commissioners agreed with the planning commission that it should be included as an indoor use under the current code.

McKinnish said he’s been trying to get an answer out of the county planning department for two years.

He said he asked Las Vegas where there are lots of indoor gun ranges what their code includes.

He said many of the concerns including noise, the chance bullets will leave the building and other issues are easily handled.

McKinnish brought in pictures of some of the shooting areas around Douglas County where trash, shotgun shells and debris are piled high.

“There’s no one supervising these areas,” he said of the Gardnerville Ranchos sand pits.

Commissioner Greg Lynn, who was a key player in developing the county’s gun range, said he’d researched indoor gun ranges as part of the project.

“What Pat’s suggesting is state of the art,” he said.

Commissioner Barry Penzel suggested putting the code amendment on a fast track.

Retired Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Richardson said 20 years ago when the county first explored a training range, he and two other officers looked at the building McKinnish was proposing for his indoor range.

Guns N Ammo is located at 1321 Highway 395. The building was constructed in 1966.

No one opposed the issue, but resident Jim Slade said he felt it should require a special use permit since each request would have different requirements.