Letter: Tribe should rethink gun range

To the community,

A 29-lane outdoor commercial gun range and tactical live-fire shoot house is being built by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians on recently-acquired off-reservation trust land located at the southeast corner of Highway 50 and Shingle Springs Drive. The proposed range will be within 1,000 yards of two public elementary schools and a church, and within 100 yards of thousands of drivers on Highway 50, and backing directly to dozens of private residences. This is the wrong location for an outdoor commercial gun range. Neighbors directly downrange from the site have said that they will need to leave their homes once the range is operational due to safety and sound impact concerns.

The issue is not one of gun rights, but one of safety and choice of location.

If allowed to proceed as proposed, this project sets a dangerous precedent for the use of off-reservation trust land in California.

If anyone other than the tribe were to propose this project at this location, it would not be approved according to El Dorado County’s zoning laws and noise and safety ordinances. However, due to its sovereign nation status, the tribe does not need to receive review, approval, or permitting as required of all other commercial projects proposed in the county.

This is not your standard gun range. The tribe is accountable to no one other than the Tribal Council for the planning, building, or operation of the range. The gun range is a part of the overall marketing plan to bring business to the Red Hawk Casino. A casino-fed gun range business run by the tribe with zero county oversight is not a recipe for a safe gun range.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has essentially stated that they don’t believe they have jurisdiction to stop the project from proceeding. The tribe is moving forward with construction, with a proposed completion date of summer 2015.

We fully acknowledge and recognize the sovereignty of the tribe, but are asking them to be good neighbors and consider building an indoor range, choose a more appropriate location, or consider an alternate proposal that would preserve the quality of life and safety for all concerned. The surrounding community has voiced its concerns, but has been met with little cooperation, and to date has received no modifications to the proposal from the tribe.

Go online for more detail on the issue.

Damon Tribble, El Dorado Hills

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    Comments (4)
    1. sunriser2 says - Posted: March 16, 2015

      Letting them develop annexed land with little or no over-site is wrong.

    2. fromform says - Posted: March 16, 2015

      while they are at it, they should exercise 2nd amendment rights and put it a “tactical live-fire” chemical and biological warfare center so patriots can train to fight off the gubmint…

    3. business owner says - Posted: March 16, 2015

      That’s actually really funny fromform. In an article about native Americans you imply that we have nothing to fear from the “gubmint”. Huh?

    4. Really?? says - Posted: March 16, 2015

      If you have ever been in a house near a gun range, you know how disruptive the sound of intermittent gunfire is. Its not really the type of sound that you can ignore probably because it can be intense volleys of fire followed by a few shots followed by a bit of quiet. To subject residents to this–especially on this large scale– is really objectionable and would destroy the peaceful enjoyment of their homes. I think that school children having to listen to gunfire all day while at school would seriously affect concentration and would somehow be just plain creepy and wrong.

      The BOS should find out for certain whether they have any jurisdiction in this matter rather than stating what they “believe”. This sounds like a matter for the courts. I don’t think many argue that Native Americans have rights over use of their land but in an ever-crowded landscape, reasonable constraints must be created.