Neighbors say constant gunfire a nuisance, safety concern

Neighbors say constant gunfire a nuisance, safety concern
Jay Smith, Owner, Smith & Son Armory Shooting Complex (Source: KFDA)
Jay Smith, Owner, Smith & Son Armory Shooting Complex (Source: KFDA)
Smith & Son Armory Shooting Complex (Source: Facebook)
Smith & Son Armory Shooting Complex (Source: Facebook)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - What's being described as constant gunfire from a gun range just outside Amarillo city limits is what neighbors in that area say is making them uncomfortable in their own homes.

Tuesday evening more than 50 people met to discuss what they say is a noise and safety issue for those who live near and around Smith & Son Armory Shooting Complex.

The gun range has been open for about a year.

Owner Jay Smith said he went door to door on Echo and Amarillo streets, which border the range, and between St. Francis and Hastings streets to talk with residents about the complex at that time.

"If someone calls me and says 'I've got a problem right now,' all I have to do is pull up a computer and it'll tell me who's there right now," said Smith. "So I've got it narrowed down."

Many of these neighbors said that never happened, or it wasn't enough.

"We're home 24/7, we never leave the house unless we go shopping or something," said one resident of Amarillo Street. "Nobody ever come up to our front door."

People at the meeting said they hear constant gun shots that startle them.

And while the gun range closes at 7 p.m., people who need to sleep during the day say they can't.

Several people voiced concerns about the noise:

"Sometimes it's pop pop pop, other times boom boom, other times normal shooting."
"I've heard it for a whole year."
"So we have to give up our peace and quiet...for someone else to make money off it and have a good time like you going out there shooting."

Some also say it's hard to distinguish noises from the gun range from a possible neighborhood shooting.

And there is concern about stray bullets entering the neighborhood.

"The location of the gun range - that's basically the main issue," said Vivian Long, a concerned resident who organized Tuesday night's meeting. "For those of us that live closer to it it's a lot louder, a lot more disruptive, and basically literally disturbing the peace. Personally I can't stand to be out in my backyard for more than 10 minutes."

Smith said he has not received any direct complaints, and his range is mostly underground and rarely crowded.

"There's never more than two groups, two members that have been at that range at the same time unless we're having a concealed handgun license class," said Smith.

He is working on doing a sound study in the area, but said the sound levels that any home hears are no more than 85 decibels.

While the range has an address in the Amarillo city limits, the range itself is on county land, making it unclear which jurisdiction would handle complaints.

The original plan for Tuesday's meeting was to discuss filing a lawsuit against the gun range, but no action was taken and that topic was only briefly mentioned.

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