Residents Seek Injunction In Battle With Gun Club

AP Photo/Wilson Ring

Many times, we’ve seen a gun club set up in the middle of nowhere, only for homes to pop up around it. Now, that’s not that big of a deal, all things considered. At least, it’s not until some of the residents decide they want the gun club to stop being able to operate on their property because of the noise–noise that was there before the homes were ever built.

Other times, the gun club is legitimately a problem and doesn’t really care that people do happen to live near them. That’s rarer than the previous scenario, but it does happen.

I can’t tell which it is in this case, but now residents are seeking an injunction to shut down the club’s range.

Neighbors of the North Attleboro Angle Tree Stone Rod and Gun Club want a court to stop the club from using its outdoor shooting range until safety improvements are made.

The neighbors are seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in a lawsuit in Bristol County Superior Court against the club and two of its officers.

A similar request was denied after the lawsuit was filed in 2017. But neighbors cite new instances of errant bullets they allege originated from the club and landed in their neighborhood.

Mostly recently, a bullet struck a house on Trisina Circle in Attleboro the week of July 11 “and was lodged into the house,” according to a court filing by Jeremy Weltman, a Boston lawyer representing the neighbors.

The club denies the allegations and says the range is safe.

In their opposition to the neighbors’ request, a lawyer for the club says the errant bullets came from others in woods separating the club from the neighborhood and not from Angle Tree Stone property.

So, basically, this boils down to a “he said/she said” kind of thing. Without actually laying eyes on the range, it’s impossible to tell if it’s actually safe or not. However, I can say that there’s absolutely no way these residents know exactly where those rounds originated from.

If the range has almost any kind of a berm, it would be extremely difficult for a round to bypass the berm, miss every tree in the woods, then strike a home.

Obviously, I’ve got a pro-gun bias, but I think it’s likely that these residents don’t like the noise from the range and, as such, are inclined to accept any gun-related incident as being their fault.

Again, without seeing the range itself, I can’t say definitively, but that’s based on what I’ve seen pan out other places at other times.

It’s possible I’m wrong, though.

Regardless, I won’t be surprised to see the injunction denied. As the club notes, there’s no direct evidence to tie the shooting of the house with the club, and absent that, it would be premature to issue such an injunction.

Then again, with the pronounced anti-gun bias we’ve seen so many places, anything is possible including a win for the residents. We’ll just have to keep watching.

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET