Neighbors complain of noise from private gun range

Associated Press

Leoni Township — The sound from a private gun range in southern Michigan has some neighbors up in arms.

Joe Trolz’ Kickin’ Brass range in Leoni Township is on property zoned agricultural, but provisions allowing some noise only apply when the sounds are caused by farming, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported Friday.

A majority of the 52 people who attended a May 4 public hearing on the issue opposed the range, township Clerk Michelle Manke said.

Some say it’s been bad for business.

“The sound of gunfire from Kickin’ Brass has driven customers away from our winery,” said Dennise Barber, owner of Lone Oak Vineyard Estate.

The winery in Grass Lake is a mile from the gun range.

“There is a limit to how much noise anybody can make,” Barber said. “Gunfire is just so loud. So we’ll be fighting that. I know this is going to be an ongoing battle. The neighbors are so disgusted at this point.”

Trolz had his property rezoned from suburban residential to agricultural so he could open a public range, but later learned commercial enterprises are not allowed on agricultural-zoned land. A friend continues to hold free programs and gun training at Trolz’ range.

“If he wants to have a private, not-for-profit gun range, he is allowed to do so,” township Supervisor Todd Brittain said.

But the noise issue has yet to be settled.

“The township noise ordinance is extremely vague,” Brittain said.