Blackwater asks county to allow extended firing range hours
Virginian Pilot (2007-10-19) Jeff Hampton
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By Jeff Hampton
, The Virginian Pilot
© October 19, 2007
Last updated: 9:03 PM
Blackwater USA wants to extend firing range hours to midnight from 10 p.m.,
but neighbors say they hear the shots late enough already.
The Camden County Board of Commissioners plans to consider the extension at
its Nov. 5 meeting. The county planning board discussed Blackwater's request
Wednesday but made no recommendation.
Night time marksmanship training is hard to complete before 10 p.m. in the
summer when it gets dark late, said Dave Parks, Camden County permit officer.
Winter months allow enough time. Camden could allow extended hours only during
the summer when daylight saving time is in effect, he said.
But Sherry Motes, a resident of Summit Farms in Moyock, said 10 p.m. is late
"Last night they fired right up until the end," Motes said. "I have to get
up at 3 a.m."
Her property abuts Blackwater property. The ranges are about three miles
"At that hour, you'll be able to hear shots all over Moyock," said Juanita
Krause, a neighbor of Motes.
Blackwater has 60 ranges in Camden County, each accommodating about 24
firing lanes. The nearest homes are in Currituck County. Recorded complaints are
rare, with three from April through September, said Chief Deputy Sandy Casey.
Camden County has received two complaints in the past three years, both in July,
said Camden County Sheriff Tony Perry.
Motes disputes those numbers, saying she personally has called more often
All of Blackwater's ranges and facilities sit on 1,358 acres in Camden
County. In February 2006, Currituck officials approved four firing ranges with more
than 500 individual shooting lanes, 14 classrooms and a 4,000-square-foot
bunk house. Among the conditions, Blackwater had to assure a down-range safety
area of nearly three miles. But no ranges have been built in Currituck yet.
Jeff Hampton, (252) 338-0159 jeff.hampton at pilotonline.com
© 2007 Hampton Roads