UPDATE: County Commission deny permit for gun range near Bakewel - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: County Commission deny permit for gun range near Bakewell Mountain

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Residents of Bakewell Mountain celebrated with high fives and hugs as they left the Hamilton County meeting Wednesday. A shooting range business wanted to open up shop near Bakewell Mountain, however, county commissioners denied that request citing a quality of life and not a gun-related issue.

"We have no problems with guns, we believe in gun rights. But this range in specific was going to be located literally 20 feet from our properties said " resident Scott Philips.

Last week, commissioners heard statements from residents and Wade Batson, the owner of Dead Zero Shooting. The business conducted sound tests, but homeowners were still concerned about how it would impact their quality of life. 

"We thought we stuck to the facts pretty well and we had all the questions and concerns but we couldn't overcome the emotional outcome of it,” Batson said.

Commissioners voted 8-1 to deny a special exceptions permit for the range, Commissioner Greg Martin was the only vote in support.

However, the county made it clear they are business friendly and this is not about gun rights.

"I was really pleased that they weren't against the business itself, it seems to be just the location and resident issues,” Batson said.

Philips considers the outcome a victory, and he said he's not against the business itself, he just doesn't want it in his backyard.

"If they open up that range in a safe location, we would be glad to go out there and practice shooting ourselves but what I would say to the business is don't give up, find a good location, it will benefit Hamilton County, but at the same time consider the other families,” Phillips said.

The owner of the shooting range said since they have most of their business plans established they hope to find a new location in the area very soon. Batson said they hope to find a new location, but could be difficult with the rapid growth in Hamilton County.


PREVIOUS STORY: A proposed gun range five miles off US 27 near Bakewell Mountain is getting strong opposition from those who live in the area. 

Scott Phillips and his wife built their dream home on Bakewell Mountain two years ago. It has everything they need whether it's work or play. 

But the life this couple built for their four children may soon change if developers are given the green light to build a $2.4 million gun range across the street. 

"When I heard them doing the sound test, it became reality for me and all the sudden I realized what we were up against and how immensely it would affect my family and our life here," he said. 

As a hunter himself, Phillips is no stranger to guns but he believes a 184-acre outdoor gun range so close to home could pose a danger. 

Other property owners echoed those concerns during Wednesday's Hamilton County commission meeting. 

Developers said the range would have a positive impact on local economy. 

"We've had a lot of contact from around the nation for holding national events here and things like that. So, it's not just a Hamilton County thing, it's an area thing and potentially national thing," Wade Batson with Dead Zero Shooting told commissioners. 

It's not growth residents fear on Retro Hughes Road. The area is known for hiking and hunting and will soon be home to a landing strip for local pilots. 

The families who live here say they welcome visitors, just not a gun range. 

"This is unreasonable. There are other places that are more responsible that this range could be placed in. There's no reason it has to be placed right here across from my kids and the other families and their small children that are building houses," Phillips added. 

Hamilton County commissioners will decide if they will grant a special permit for the outdoor gun range next week. 

Stay with Channel 3 for updates to this story. 

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