Proposed gun range raises controversy near Frederick-Montgomery County Line

FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WJLA) -- A controversy has arisen in Frederick County where some homeowners are fired up about a proposal to build a gun range.

The zoning board will hear the case Thursday night for a range that would be built on Thurston Road, near the border with Montgomery County.

Some fear they'll lose the peace and quiet. They plan to pack a board of appeals hearing on the gun range, which would be near Sugarloaf Mountain.

"It's just a way of life up here that you don't have down in the city. It's peace and quiet," says Amy Rogers of Dickerson.

"God put that mountain there. We can't move it. Man wants to put a gun range here. That can be changed," Billy Mossburg says.

"I think it'll be devastating to the area. People live here because of the beauty and the serenity and the peace," Karen Baker says.

Frederick attorney Peter Fitzpatrick represents the LLC formed to put the shooting range on the property.

"This project will have features that will address those concerns," Fitzpatrick says.

He says the range would train military, police, and regular citizens on gun use and wouldn't be as loud as residents fear.

"The distance of the neighboring properties is such that there shouldn't be any noticeable noise off-site,” Fitzpatrick says. "There are standards for this type of a project that we will be using to ensure safety, one of which is the natural topography of the area."

Some say they have other concerns.

"Somebody's going to have a brand new gun, and they’re going to get out their car to show it to somebody before they get inside, and you're going to hear, ‘Bang! Well I didn't think it was loaded,” Mossburg says.