Lake County gun range to make sweeping changes after community complaints

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A Lake County gun range known for explosions, helicopters and a flame thrower is looking to change its ways.

The Lake County Commission gave the approval of Ares Firearm Training to continue operation with several stipulations on Tuesday.

Community members originally complained to 9 Investigates about the happenings at the gun range, bringing up concerns over long lines of traffic going to the range on two-lane rural roads, explosions and bullets flying across property lines.


The gun range forced a local hiking trail to close due to the bullets flying across fence lines.

"When I called the sheriff's office that day they said there was nothing they could do," said local Sherry Vogel. "They said call zoning, call the commission, because this has been going on for years."

The range has been working with thw county for last two months to become more community friendly. Under its concession, the range will limit hours, limit large events, limit helicopter use and completely eliminate any type of explosions.

The range also propsed building berms and creating noise-dampening bays for shooting.

St. Johns River Water Management District said it is encouraged by the berms, providing safety for its green space that borders the range.

The county said it expects code enforcement to inspect the range several times a year, giving the board the opportunity to revoke the permit if the range is in violation.

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Vanessa Echols

Vanessa Echols,

I have been a member of the Eyewitness News team since 1992 and currently anchor Eyewitness News at Noon and 4 p.m. on Channel 9.