Herald-Whig

Adams County Board says it can't act on petition to close gun range

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 11, 2018 9:10 pm

QUINCY -- The Adams County State's Attorney's Office has determined that the Adams County Board has no ability to act upon a petition it received last month regarding the RKBA Gun Range on Ellington Road.

The petition, signed by 20 neighbors, requested that the County Board close the gun range. First Assistant State's Attorney Todd Eyler said it would be inappropriate for the County Board to take action either way.

"I don't believe the county has ever taken action to close down a gun range," Eyler said. "Because the county doesn't have countywide zonng, it has very little ability at this point to close down the gun range."

Establishing countywide zoning has stirred debate in the past, and Eyler said he doesn't believe the full board favors such a measure.

In a memo distributed to County Board members, Eyler debunked claims that the county has closed gun ranges in the past. Eyler mentioned two specific instances -- one range was closed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board after nuisance charges for noise were filed against it, and the owner of the other closed after neighbors complained.

"The neighboring home owners have more power to close the gun range than the County Board does," Eyler said.

The neighbors could make a complaint to the Illinois Pollution Control Board or file a civil lawsuit, Eyler said. Neither action has been taken.

Last month, a neighbor, Jackie Marold, told the County Board that the neighbors directly behind the range "can't use their ground without constant worry of being down range."

Eyler said there is no evidence of rounds ever leaving the grounds of the range.

"When the gun range opened, some safety concerns were made, and those issues were addressed," Eyler said. "There is nothing that prevents this gun range from operating."