Archive for Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shawnee Police, landfill firm may partner on shooting range

April 23, 2013, 8:41 p.m.

Updated: April 24, 2013, 12:00 a.m.

A recent surge in the number of private citizens wanting to arm themselves and practice firing their guns has triggered a shortage of shooting range availability for Shawnee police officers.

But Capt. Mark Hein of the Shawnee Police Department zeroed in on a solution during the April 16 Shawnee City Council Committee meeting.

Hein told the officials that Deffenbaugh Industries, operators of the Johnson County Landfill, had approached the department with a proposal to create an indoor firearms range on remote, industrially zoned property near the landfill and the regional wastewater treatment plant in Shawnee.

Following Hein’s presentation, the council committee voted unanimously to direct city staff to finalize an agreement relating to the proposal, which calls for improving an existing building for exclusive use as a 25-yard shooting range by Deffenbaugh Industries and Shawnee Police Department employees.

According to preliminary discussions, the city will be asked to pay about $75,000 of the costs to improve the facility, which would be maintained by Deffenbaugh Industries. But according to Hein, that cost would be recouped within three years, as the facility is expected to save the city $34,000 a year in range fees and travel costs.

Hein said the department had struggled to arrange adequate shooting range time to accommodate its training needs for several years. And with the increased competition from the public, the problem is getting worse.

There are currently three Johnson County ranges available for officer training: the Bullet Hole in Overland Park, the Mill Creek Rifle Club in De Soto and a Kansas Highway Patrol range near Gardner. But routinely, Hein said, the department has had to use ranges as far away as Ottawa and St. Joseph, Mo.

The proposed agreement with Deffenbaugh Industries would accommodate at least 80 percent of the department’s firearms training needs at a distance of less than three miles from department headquarters, Hein said. But the site is far enough away from homes and other public places to minimize sound and safety concerns, he added.

“If someone were to hand you a map and say find a spot that would be a great place for an indoor range that wouldn’t bother anybody, this would be the spot,” Hein said.

In addition to modifying and maintaining the range, Deffenbaugh Industries has agreed to ensure compliance with all federal environmental and safety regulations.

Ward 2 Council Neal Sawyer, one of the committee members who supported the proposal, called it “a no-brainer.”

Comments

Alex Smith 7 years, 6 months ago

This is a stupid idea...A bunch of years ago there was a national story about a bunch of officers AND their dogs that were getting sick, and come to find out they got CANCER from the gasses being released from an unknown LEGAL dump that had been "capped" off and turned into a supposedly good area to build on.

AT THE VERY LEAST, THEY SHOULD MAKE SURE THERE ARE TONS OF GAS/METHANE/RADEON DETECTORS AROUND THE BUILDING...As a matter of fact, I will try to email the police chief and bring this to his attention.

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Raven7090 7 years, 6 months ago

Will Deffenbaugh have the reclamation rights to all of the spent brass shells and lead bullets? I assume the ammunition for Shawnee Police Officer shooting range practice is purchased by the city (taxpayer dollars) - ? With the price of ammunition (and the raw materials to produce it) going up, could Deffenbaugh reclaim those materials and resell for profit?

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