Wrong Place, Wrong Time
I have received literally hundreds of emails, texts and phone calls concerning a proposed shooting range on Thurston Road. Although I do my best to respond to each person personally, in the event I missed anyone I want to make my position on this application absolutely clear.
I am a life member of the National Rifle Association. I believe in the right to responsibly own and carry firearms. However, I also believe that every land use application must meet the test of "right time, right place," and this application fails that test.
The Sugarloaf Mountain area of Frederick County is an absolute treasure. The beautiful hillsides, flowing streams and abundant wildlife make it a unique area of our county. I do not believe that this part of the county is in any way the "right place" for an active firearms training facility and shooting range.
I would encourage the applicant to look for a more appropriate location for this proposed facility. There are many areas in Frederick County that would welcome this type of use, which would be much more compatible with this type of business. The residents of the Sugarloaf Mountain region deserve to retain the tranquility they now enjoy, and the pending application, in my opinion, should not be approved.
If an appropriate location can be found, I will probably be a frequent visitor. I love to shoot, and I am a firm believer that if you are going to own and use firearms, you must practice frequently. With repetition comes familiarity, and with familiarity comes safety. Safety is always the first, second and third most important aspects of any firearms use. So I encourage entrepreneurs such as this applicant to search for a good location. It is not Sugarloaf Mountain. If he finds a suitable site, I am sure he will be welcomed into the county, and his range will be a success.
As a society, we need to become more understanding of those who wish to own and use firearms safely and legally. I believe Maryland should be a "shall issue" state, as opposed to a "may issue" state when it comes to carry permits. Why should those who own weapons illegally be the only ones carrying them?
In short, I support responsible gun ownership and ranges for people to learn to use them safely. Just not on Thurston Road or other similar quiet rural area.