OMG! A Gun Range! Near Wichita! OMG!

TTAG reader AO writes:

Welp, it was standing room only and the dissenters were pulling stuff out of their ears. HIGHLY EMOTIONAL and PERSONALLY CHARGED. All objecting comments from the public were caveated by, “I am a supporter of the 2nd amendment but….” “I like to shoot guns but….” One man suggested 115 people per year who left the range with 15 leftover bullets would discharge them in the first creek around the corner they could find. One current El Dorado LEO publicly lambasted the idea for five minutes and another retired Sheriff stood up and said that even his own men couldn’t handle a firearm correctly, not to mention the droves who would visit the gun club . . .

He said the gun was a tool and now it would become a toy. Lots of “we can do it right as we shoot in our back 40 at the haybail, but you guys will kill everybody in the neighborhood shooting under no-blue-sky ranges with safety officers.” Pretty hypocritical. Emotion won out over logic. Vote was 5-0 NO.


  1. avatar Hannibal says:


    1. avatar TheBear says:


      Maybe if I watched the video I’d understand the post but it will have to wait.

    2. avatar AllAmerican says:

      “One man suggested 115 people per year who left the range with 15 leftover bullets would discharge them in the first creek around the corner they could find.”…..

      Exactly my thoughts…. Huh? That doesn’t even make sense…. This dude must of been drunk or literally retarded.

      1. avatar James says:

        I don’t think someone would of to be drunk to of made that comment. It’s possible for him to of some kind of retardation, but it seems that a lot of people of it these days.

        1. avatar 80 D says:

          Have: -4
          Of: +2
          Grammar Level: -2

          Grammar level could use some XP.

        2. avatar Rusty Shackleford says:

          That would explain them being OK with .gov moving the Animal Disease Center from Plum Island to Kansas.

      2. avatar UpChuck.Liberals says:

        I’d guess the speaker chewed on one too many lead paint chips as a child.

        At the public range just south of San Jose Kommieforina, you see people standing around using up their ammo all the time…NOT. What’s really funny is there is a ranchers pasture just up above the range, the cattle walk just above the targets. I’m pretty sure that darn few of them have been shot, seeing as it will cost about $40,000.

        So Branden, I’m going to guess that unless you take a stroll in front of the targets you’ll be just fine and dandy.

        This country is full of cry babies. SAD

        1. avatar .250 Savage says:

          I avoid that range south of San Jose like the plague. Try Laguna Seca down by salinas instead.

  2. avatar CoolHand says:

    Standard NIMBY bullshit.

    People want an economy, but actively work to stop anyone from doing anything near where they live.

    Newsflash!, you dumb bastards, if you halt all economic activity in your area, guess what happens to the economy in your area? It stops.

    Welcome to progressive hell, in Kansas of all places.

    I guess damned fools have to live somewhere. . .

    1. avatar AllAmerican says:

      It’s kind of like when a company wants to build a nuclear power plant and all the libturds protest over it, chasing the most reliable and effective energy source away and then are all butthurt that we still use so much coal and oil.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I like nuclear power, but liberal progressive wankers sure don’t. Solar is good stuff in SoCal, though. I’m working on a solar array.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Solar panels shade the ground!

          The Liver-Lipped Crotch Beetle needs the sunlight for its den!

          Why, the ecology of the entire planet will collapse! We can’t have that!

          What a heartless, cruel man you are!

          (Sobbing uncontrollably)

    2. avatar Toby in KS says:

      Jess is a 20+ year veteran, and active, LEO. He is my FFL and I have been waiting for him to open this range for a few years. He is the owner of the Wichita Gun Club. Honestly, I never expected to hear the news of this range getting started by opening up my inbox and seeing this TTAG post!

      The problem here is that 95% of Kansas is populated with staunch conservatives, but the leftover 5% are super noisy, anti-constitution progressives, that have all moved to Wichita. They are the whiners you hear complaining in the news reel. And maybe a couple neighbors of the quarry.

      The crimony of the thing is that Wichita is in SEDGWICK county, and the quarry is in BUTLER county. Wichita has no voice in the matter. The other outrageous thing about it is that the whiners have never said a word about the other two gun ranges in Butler county, not to mention all the country folk who regularly shoot targets and hunt in their back yards throughout the county.

      Which tells me that the whiners may not live here. They are just anti-gun dunderheads that showed up from somewhere for the hearing. They are background noise.

      1. avatar CoolHand says:

        Background noise that coupled up with statist politicians on the council to kill a man’s business venture.

        That’s the problem with statist assholes, even their hobbies are caustic toward productive people’s lives and livelihoods.

    3. And then the Liberal council will use tax revenue (or debt) to build a skate park that doesn’t charge admission to keep the skaters off the sidewalks. How many injuries occur at these skate parks? Do the rebellious skate punks use the park regularly or stay on “their turf” elsewhere in the city?
      But we can’t have a gun range that would make money and help grow an armed and safe community.
      Was noise ever brought up as an opposition argument? That would be the only thing that would make sense.

  3. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    retired Sheriff stood up and said that even his own men couldn’t handle a firearm correctly

    I wish this comment would have been carried in the KSN news story. I wonder what the deputies thought about this? If they can’t handle a gun, maybe they shouldn’t be LEOs. 🙁

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Someone is SO determined to oppose this he insults his own people to make a point. Niiiiiice!

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Saying something like that is just telling folks that he was incompetent when he was sheriff.

        If you’re in charge, it’s part of your JOB to make sure your folks can “handle a firearm correctly” (safely qualify to a minimum standard, and carrying it without shooting themselves or someone/something else), and if they can’t, bragging about how you failed at your job is beyond stupid. Passing the average L.E. pistol handling/qualification course just isn’t that difficult; if someone can’t meet or exceed the standard after remedial training and several attempts, well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too.

        1. avatar Toby in KS says:

          Yeah, I don’t think a retired Sherriff stood up and said that. I think someone pretending to be a retired Sherriff said that. I half wonder if the people who are complaining were trucked in from Kansas City or Dallas.

        2. He probably retired from running for sheriff. The current sheriff had no input?
          My County built a range for LEOs. After one year, they opened it up to the public. $25 for a one day safety course gets you 12 visits annually and a $20 renewal no retake of class required. I have been there on days when it was me, my wife, and the range officer, he ran us through some drills and let us use the steel range.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    My personal favorites were the hippies who had no idea what they were talking about. I wonder if the business owner has any legal recourse. This vote seems both arbitrary and an unwarranted intrusion into private business interests… Does he already own the land?

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      “Why would they want to tarnish this beautiful land?” Unlike what the quarry miners did when they dug a chunk out of it for stone, I assume.

      FWIW, abandoned quarries once were the outdoor ranges of choice for free range kids and their .22s. No range fees or rules like “no rapid fire,” neither.

  5. avatar Defens says:

    Duh. So people are untrained and dangerous with guns – let’s remove any opportunity for them to practice and become more proficient in a safe and supervised facility. That makes sense.

    1. avatar Sergio says:

      Same logic applies to people who support gun safety but oppose the NRA.

  6. avatar Hal says:

    I’m too lazy to watch the video, so I am lost. Who wouldn’t want a gun range close by? I’m so confused by all of this….

    and when I’m confused I make mistakes. Like purchasing a gunsite scout online from GT Distributors without the wife’s permission! BAM!

  7. avatar Rokurota says:

    Toss some unfired cartridges (“stray rounds”) on your roof and bring the news crews. We need a good chuckle.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Toss some unfired cartridges (“stray rounds”) on your roof…

      Why waste them? Just use some foam earplugs.

  8. avatar Rokurota says:

    So people oppose silencers because they “have the right to know a gun is being fired,” but then oppose guns being fired because of the noise. Oy.

  9. avatar FoRealz? says:

    Wow. This country, or parts at least, have turned into hives of thumb sucking candyasses afraid of EVERYTHING.


  10. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    So, build it as a private, members-only facility, and tell the homeowners to go screw themselves.

    1. avatar Andy says:

      Yep Chip , and make it be a member it only costs1 dollar and then just charge a range fee on visits , that could work . Just think of the tax benefits the county is gonna miss out on , some politicians just don’t have a long outlook , shortsightedness is blind . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  11. avatar Travis Barnes says:

    Update: The Commissioners voted 5-0 to reject the proposal. I am ashamed of my state.

    1. avatar Toby in KS says:

      I am ashamed of these Butler County officials.

  12. avatar Accur81 says:

    I taught teenage Boy Scouts to safely shoots bolt .22s and pump 12 gauges.

  13. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    I’m a little surprised that they don’t have specific standards to go by. Just saying it’s “noisy” or “dangerous” shouldn’t cut it. If you want to construct an indoor range with the Houston city limits, for example, the city specifies the minimum construction standards, but they also specify the noise threshold which must be contained. At least it’s on paper and one can comply with something concrete, not arbitrary. Outdoor ranges outside of city limits are easier.

  14. avatar Burnout says:

    Uh… what? For goodness sake man, get hold of yourself. Calm down and write sensibly. Introduction, body, closing. Don’t just post a bunch of hysterical nonsense complete with capital letters. If I wanted to watch a video, i would go to youtube. Just take a deep breath and tell us what happened.

  15. Wow, I can’t believe there was such an opposition from anyone near Wichita…

  16. avatar Skp5885 says:

    I live in Wichita and do not consider this a big deal. There are plenty of ranges in Wichita to shoot at including an indoor 100 yard range. Not only that but one of the gun shops in town broke ground a few months back on a state of the art $5m facility (I can’t wait!). Wichita is not anti-gun as the post would suggest, I recommend RF understand that Wichita is not even in the same county as the proposed range. Again, this is simply not a big deal! Nothing illegal was done here, no rights were violated. Personally I love going to the range but would not want to live next to one (not because I am scared but because I don’t like people and gun ranges around here are quite popular).

    1. avatar CoolHand says:

      “no rights were violated”

      Guess that depends on how one defines “right” (and who’s getting “violated”).

      IMO, “private” property that one cannot use without the blessing of some external force is not private at all.

      Shit like this is why I try to live as far from “civilization” as possible.

      1. avatar Skp5885 says:

        I believe in the “rights” as defined in the Bill of Rights. I am no constitutional expert but I do not believe that any of those rights have been violated. The local government has been granted authority to make zoning decisions. I don’t agree with their decision but I don’t think they have exceeded their granted authority. No one has limited the owner from personally discharging firearms on the property or from hunting on the property, simply operating this type of business on the property. Local governments have regulated business for a very long time in our country’s history.

        On a side note, I completely agree with living as far away from “civilization” as possible.

        1. avatar CoolHand says:

          Just ’cause it’s been done a long time, don’t make it right.

    2. avatar SFJake says:

      It was very refreshing to read your post considering we actually live in Wichita. I agree, we have several shooting ranges in Wichita and with Thunderbird Tactical breaking ground I do not find this as big a deal as most are making it out to be.

      1. avatar CoolHand says:

        Nope, it ain’t a big deal at all.

        Unless it’s YOUR land that’s been devalued and YOUR dream and business that’s been quashed.

        I suspect you’d feel rather differently about how big a deal it was, were you and land owner to switch positions.

        This is how the cancer spreads.

        It’s not a big deal, it doesn’t impact ME in any way, who cares if it destroys somebody else’s dream and business.

        And so it happens over and over and over again, and nobody cares.

        Until it happens to THEM.

        I hope every one of you guys cheering this fellows defeat at the hands of govt get to deal with the monster yourselves very soon and concerning something you are gravely invested in.

        See how you like it when some busybody and a couple of pencil pushers team up to destroy something YOU love and worked your ass off to create.

        1. avatar SFJake says:

          Hey you’re right; it is YOUR land. Do with it what YOU will. But understand building a business is not a RIGHT. You must pass certain requirements and it just so happens they did not make it.

          Furthermore, your analogy to the spread of cancer is shameful. First, it does not spread; it metastasizes. Secondly if according to your definition, it does affect others in the area. Some people like the outdoors for their slience; not the sound of a bunch of ammunition going off at noon each day.

          I’m not quashing the guys dream, but life is full of rejection; wear a helmet.

        2. avatar CoolHand says:

          Of course! You don’t have a right to earn a living! How dare he!

          Others demands for silence trump your right to use your property as you see fit!

          You can only have a business and earn a living if they deign to ALLOW it!

          Know your place, plebe!

          Lord I hate people.

          Come, on SMOD! The world is long past ready for ya!

        3. avatar SFJake says:

          Ha just as I knew your arguement folded like a gobular protein in conformational space. When you can’t come at a problem with cold hard facts but instead rely on a whiny “woe as me” attitude then you deserve nothing.

        4. avatar CoolHand says:

          Your mind was made up from the word GO.

          There was never any “convincing” you or having a debate with you.

          You know best and everyone else better know their place.

          Just came back to tell you to go fuck yourself.

          Have a wonderful evening.

        5. avatar SFJake says:

          Agreed, your mind was closed as evidenced by all your post in this article.

          Keep that tin foil hat bro, you’re gonna need it 🙂

  17. avatar Chris says:

    I grew up in Wichita and spent the better part of my late teens and early 20’s running around Butler Co. This includes a lot of time shooting guns there. A friend of mine obtained his FFL and later became a Sheriffs Deputy for Butler Co. He was formative in my love for firearms and was very proficient with a wide variety of guns. It’s a shame Shannon wasn’t vocal in this meeting. As a Sheriffs Deputy myself, I am embarrassed for the retired Sheriff stood that up and said that even his own men couldn’t handle a firearm correctly. You sir have failed at your post by allowing those that served under you to ” protect and serve” without the appropriate training required to protect the public as well as themselves. A gun range, particularly one in a quarry would surely be better suited than shooting in areas where the projectile may continue traveling. Unfortunately not everyone has been taught “Be sure of your target and what is beyond it’. Long live the Sunflower Gun Club!

  18. avatar Braden says:

    Wow, all i can say. Typical media article with a bunch of half truth. I was there. No the sheriff did not say his deputies cant handle firearms. He was pointing out that no matter how “professional you are or how much training you have, accidents can happen. Such an accident did happen involving a deputy.

    I am against the range being in close proximity to my home. Less than a mile. We are not against a range in Butler County. We just dont want it in such a densely populated area. Plain and simple.

    I did not bash the idea for five minutes. Someone claimed Butler County LEO’s need a range. Bottom line is, this is false. We have plenty nice ranges to use and choose from. Some owned by agencies. Most who have invested in properties in the country (not cheap) would like not to live so close to a range.

    I love the shooting sports and hunting, but i do it away from houses and people. You wouldnt want your kids or neighbors living behind a burm so dont make it a big deal when we feel the same.

    Butler County is a sprawling 1500 square mile county. Feel free to build a range where it is not a densely populated area.

    I respectyour opinions but most were not at the meeting and as far as i am concerned this page blatently posted a bunch of half truths. I know you want your range, thats great. Just not this location.

    Jess is a great guy. The range would be built safely and im sure it would be state of the art. The error is not in the ways of materials or design but rather man. Man is and will always be the failing point.

    1. avatar CoolHand says:

      You’re not comfortable with a range being within a ONE MILE radius of your house?

      Jesus lady, if we used that standard where I live there wouldn’t be a range in the whole damned state, save for the national forests.

      Fact is, my neighbor has a range on his property that is less than 500 ft from my house, and I have a range that is less than 1,000 feet from his.

      How do we survive? We make sure the backstop is built high and thick and wraps around in every direction so no side splash gets away.

      Less than a mile. . . . /snort

      You flatlanders are funny folks . . .

    2. avatar Toby in KS says:

      There are two and a half (almost three and a half) gun ranges in Sedgwick county, all of them in Wichita. Only one allows rifles. It has 5 lanes, and is in an area of town where you NEED to carry a weapon. These two and a half (almost three and a half) ranges are in the middle of the most densely populated city in Kansas. (The half range being the range-thing at Gander Mountain, the “almost” range is Thunder-money-bird Tactical which is under construction. Lake Afton doesn’t count because it is only open three days a week.)

      So, when you say, “We are not against a range in Butler County. We just don’t want it in such a densely populated area,” (first of all, who is “We?”) I wonder why you wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to have a fantastic range, owned and operated by a highly qualified LEO, placed within a mile of your neighborhood, which is less densely populated than Wichita. Your reasoning doesn’t hold water. Perhaps you work for Thunderbird Tactical? Or Michael Bloomberg? If you represent some special interest, it would explain why you said “We.” Who knows, but your comments don’t pass my sniff test.

      The only two ranges in Butler county that I know of ( ) are near houses. They are shotgun only ranges and the neighbors around them do just fine. They are not pistol or rifle ranges… Something the public wants and needs.

      There are private ranges in the area like Sunflower Gun Club, mentioned by a poster above. SGC has a 150 member limit with no openings. The general public wants and needs a place to train with rifles and pistols but cannot adequately do it in a publicly accessed facility that is maintained, well controlled, and offers real training, unless they drive for 1-2 hours outside the “metro” area. The quarry is perfect for that due to its location and natural structure.

      But you don’t want that… if its within a mile of your house. The alternative, of course, is country folks inviting their friends out so they can shoot up a storm, no guidelines or training necessary. Which is what you already have. Its not the worst, I guess. It IS freedom.

      Looks like hay bale backstops by self-trained neighbors for you for the unforeseen future. Good going. You get what you want.

    3. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      such a densely populated area

      It’s on 80 acres. How densely populated could it be?!

    4. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      I am against the range being in close proximity to my home.


      Less than a mile.

      So, the range is not proposed in an 80-acre plot?

      We are not against a range in Butler County. We just dont want it in such a densely populated area. Plain and simple.

      Densely populated? Really? Was the news report showing a different part of the county? The county as a whole as 42 people per square mile. The rock quarry is out in the middle of nowhere.

      I did not bash the idea for five minutes. Someone claimed Butler County LEO’s need a range. Bottom line is, this is false. We have plenty nice ranges to use and choose from. Some owned by agencies. Most who have invested in properties in the country (not cheap) would like not to live so close to a range.


      I love the shooting sports and hunting, but…

      Ah, there it is: the qualifying clause that always precludes endorsement of a position that infringes on someone’s rights.

      …i do it away from houses and people. You wouldnt want your kids or neighbors living behind a burm so dont make it a big deal when we feel the same.

      Really? You’d be right behind the berms? Out of 80 acres, the range couldn’t figure out a way to position the firing lanes safely?

      Butler County is a sprawling 1500 square mile county. Feel free to build a range where it is not a densely populated area.

      “Densely populated”?

      I respectyour opinions but most were not at the meeting and as far as i am concerned this page blatently posted a bunch of half truths. I know you want your range, thats great. Just not this location.


      Basically, this all boils down to Not In My Backyard – even though your backyard isn’t even impacted.

      1. avatar Braden says:

        Chip, I don’t know where to begin. I’m mesmerized by your ramblings. You are right, I don’t want it in my backyard. I don’t want to pay taxes on my gravel road for 200 to 300 customers per week to come visit. I don’t want the traffic around where my children play. So, NIMBY… I’ll wear that title.

        As for you speaking about 80 acres being large. its not that big. If you were a country boy, you would understand but your not. You live in your little city, not understanding of what living in the country is.

        Economic Impact.. this is a joke. It was named Wichita Gun Club and the owners of the Club (not the land) live in Wichita. It is not in fact a club but a Commercial Business. This means the money spent in Butler County will go to profit someone in Sedgwick County. Yeah we might get a small amount of tax revenue into the system but its a drop in the bucket compared to the property tax paid by some of the home owners in the area.

        As far as jobs go. I am certain most would be hired out of Wichita and they said themselves it would be minimal staff and only a few full time employees.

        I saw the range builders map and plans on the range… Remember I was at the meeting and you weren’t. Yes the lanes were facing residences, town, and recreational areas. The trap range stations were facing each other in a circular shape.

        The person they hired to test the acoustics and sound management said he looked into the area and it would not be a problem and the sound would be tolerable. THEN WHEN ASKED WHAT KIND OF ENGINEER HE WAS HE SAID AN OIL AND GAS ENGINEER. He had no background in sound.

        Wichita Gun Club does not own the land. Combined Investors does. The purchase of the property was contingent on the approval. Again, if you were there, you would know.

        You would also know that this was one of three locations Wichita Gun Club is looking into. The two other locations are in Sedgwick County and Harper County. Hell, Sedgwick County site may be closer yet for all you whiners about having no place to shoot or “it costs too much to shoot”. Shooting is expensive. Cant afford the range fees, don’t shoot.

        SO as for you sir, well, in a word, un-educated or ignorant describes it best. You don’t know where I live nor were you at the meeting to get all of the facts. I may be NIMBY but at least I have a dog in this fight and I am informed on the truths of what it is and how it was going to happen instead of relying on the interwebs for the information. Keep drinking the half ass koolaid this site is serving and you will continue looking like a tactidouche to the rest of us.

        As for the video Salty, I didn’t watch it but thanks for looking it up on my behalf anyway. If you all believed in this range so much, why weren’t you there.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          If you were a country boy, you would understand but your not. You live in your little city, not understanding of what living in the country is.

          I grew up surrounded (literally) by Indiana corn and soybean fields. I know what a back 40 is (and how big it is). Being late to school because I couldn’t get around the combine was all too common. To this day, I love the smell of a freshly manured field.

          Thanks for playing!

          As for all the rest of your inside-baseball treatment of the details of the proposal: they don’t matter. The proposed site posed zero risk to you, no matter how much you want to pretend otherwise. It all boils down to NIMBY, and property rights be damned.

          (Oh, and I’m pretty sure an oil and gas engineer can read a noise dosimeter just fine. It’s highly likely that it’s part of his normal duties, in mitigating industrial noise as part of OSHA requirements.)

          Also: tactidouche? Got any more ignorant, prejudicial ad hominem to pull out of your rear end?

        2. avatar Braden says:

          Youve proven your ignorance enough. Good day sir! Nothing further.

        3. Mr. Bennett is the most educated, most logical, most reasonable, most patient contributor to TTAG. How he puts up with all the imbeciles is beyond me. I was glad to see him join the group and if it wasn’t for guys like Chip and a hand full of others, I would not bother much with the comments here. I wish we had a rating system for best comments here. Now that Paul T. McCain left, Chip would be in the running for top gun.

    5. avatar salty says:

      well braden ill just leave this right here…

  19. avatar Doh says:

    I live in the general Wichita suburb/country area. I completely disagree that there are a lot of accessible ranges close. I’d absolutely love an outdoor range that wasn’t an hour and a half drive that had nice long benches and reasonable rates. The new range being built by Thunderbird wasn’t made for rifles, is completely across town and the fees are Dallas area outrageous. I’d love to know where these guys shoot in the South/East Wichita Sedgwick/Butler County/Rose Hill area and maybe make some good friends in that area! The indoor rifle range is nice, but too uncomfortable and only space for about 5 max

    1. avatar Toby in KS says:

      +1 …bazillion.

      I had been hoping that Jess would get this thing off the ground. The oligarchs apparently hoped otherwise.

      1. avatar salty says:

        so what are you guys doing to help the situation? if ten folks showed up to complain, why didnt 1000 show up to support?! im in the area too lookin for a range so if you guys come up with a plan lemme know!

    2. avatar Thom says:

      Right now I go to Bullseye in Wichita. I live in El Dorado, and can’t wait for this to open up.

  20. avatar Braden says:

    You guys are something else. Indoor ranges are different than outdoor ranges as far as population goes.

    The article here is full of holes and half truths. Im done supporting this site. You are actually worse than the liberal media when this is the type of crap you put out.

    Just wondering, where were those of you in support of the range. Why weren’t you at the meeting?

    Im out. Good luck to you all. No hard feelings. I understand where you all stand and why, but you fail to see my side.

    Be safe and stand for what you believe in.

  21. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    Butler County Kansas is densely populated? Really? Got to agree, just build a range and make it members only, no public access.

  22. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    Or! Just reopen as a stone quarry and set up a cement works. THAT will inconvenience the neighbors far more than a nice, safe gun range.

  23. avatar Thom says:

    Butler is the largest county in the state. I live in El Dorado and am looking forward to this range opening. Bought a new shotgun, have an AR and 2 .45s to fire there. Most of us here are looking forward to it opening up.

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