NOKOMIS — A group of frustrated neighbors have concerns after a new gun range opened near their homes.
The group said ever since Total Impact Guns and Indoor Range in Nokomis opened in April, they’ve heard constant gunfire.
Their neighborhood is right behind the gun range, about 0.2 miles away. The owner of the range said his building is soundproof and beyond code compliant, but from the neighborhood gunfire can be heard from off in the distance.
“It depends on what caliber gun they’re shooting — .22s, automatics, big high-powered guns,” said Laura Samuel, who lives in Citrus Park, off U.S. 41.
It’s what Samuel said she has to listen to on a daily basis.
“We don’t want the gun range to shut down, we just want them to be good neighbors and quiet the range," she said. "Soundproof the range so we don’t have to hear it day after day.”
She said they can't eat outside or enjoy their pool because of the "constant, constant, constant gunfire." They're worried that the value of their home, which is paid for, may go down, she said.
"I feel stuck," she said.
She went around asking neighbors in Citrus Park what they thought. More than 60 of them signed a paper saying they feel that Total Impact Guns and Indoor Range is not adequately soundproofed.
But the owner said he has gone above and beyond to make sure it is.
“We’ve had the county, the city, the sheriff’s department and zoning, all out," Joel Sheran, said. "I think Sarasota’s law is well over 60 decibels between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. On our loudest day that we had it measured, which is on a machine gun, we were 13 to 15 decibels at its highest.”
Sheran said he has spent thousands of dollars soundproofing the range, purchasing sound absorbing PEPP and ceiling tiles and rubber traps and hiring engineers to pinpoint any other way to reduce the noise.
“I’ve paid for independent contractors, I’ve actually hired two other sound studies that have come out and said, what can we do?” Sheran added.
He found one contractor who says he may know where the last bit of noise from the gun fire is escaping. The A/C and re-circulation system is on the roof, directly on top of the range, and one of the vents is pointed right toward Samuel’s home.
“What I’ve done is hired another company to come in and build a sound bending wall, that’s gonna span across this,” Sheran said while on the roof. "It’s gonna span down the side of this and over to the top. It’s gonna be about 4 foot tall, but what it’ll cover is anything that’s escaping the actual A/C units or A/C systems.”
The neighbors said they are optimistic that this wall will be built, but they will believe it when they see it.
- Taylor Torregano is a journalist with WWSB TV. Gondolier Sun Senior Writer Bob Mudge contributed to this report.