SILSBEE, Texas — Silsbee City Council members discussed a proposed gun range in the city but did not vote on the issue Monday night choosing instead to schedule a public workshop on the issue next week.
Gun shop owner Chase Kelly, of Kelly Ballistics, in Silsbee, had filed a request to build an outdoor gun range along FM 418 on the city’s north side.
Council members discussed potential range, which was scheduled as an agenda item, with Kelly but decided to table the issue and schedule a public workshop on Monday evening, August 26, 2019 at 6 p.m.
The workshop will give council a glimpse of what community members think of the proposed range in the city limits.
It is possible that the council will vote on the issue at the meeting next week.
"We're not looking to bring something reckless to the city of Silsbee, we're looking at bringing a new business to help with jobs," said Kelly. "Help bring money into Silsbee and help the city of Silsbee grow."
Kelly said two priorities for the range would be to address safety and noise concerns.
Regulations from the NRA as well as trained onsite personnel are just a couple of procedures Kelly says the range would proceed with.
The location he's looking at sits along FM 418 in north Silsbee near Impact Collision & Customs.
Jason Sanchez, who owns the body shop, the owner, tells 12News that the gun range would be beneficial for the area.
"I think it's great, we're really trying to develop this area, there haven't been anything here for years," said Sanchez. "A gun range I think will give people an opportunity to learn more gun safety, having that here and available for everybody."
Currently the city has two ordinances that would get in the way of the propose range.
One is a noise ordinance with the other prohibits weapons being fired inside the Silsbee city limits with the exception of police officers.
On Monday, city council appeared to be mixed about allowing Silsbee's first gun range inside city limits.
Questions about targets, location and noise were brought up.
Councilman Mark Muckleroy brought up his concern about the direction people would be shooting in.
The targets are projected to be set up south of the range, facing the city.
One man who attended the meeting spoke and said "I've never heard gunfire in the city of Silsbee and I don't want to hear it in the future."
Kelly told 12News the location of FM 418 wouldn't make that an issue.
"We'd have the natural sound reducer of the trees and it being a low elevation," said Kelly. "We would also have covered shooting areas, that's going to help with the sound as well and it's no different than something being in the middle of the city of Silsbee that makes all kind of racket through the day."
The proposed 60-acre gun range would also include a storefront, classes and competitions if approved, according to Kelly.
Golden Triangle Club and Lone Star are the closest gun ranges to Silsbee, but both are located outside city limits.
The proximity of Kelly Ballistic's proposed gun range for residents in Silsbee is something Sanchez believes would be its best attribute.
"Something right here locally, close in town," said Sanchez. "The travel on it mainly is the best thing about it."
On a poll posted on the Kelly Ballistics Facebook page last week, with 96 percent of people saying they'd support the installation of a new range, according to Kelly.