Vandalia passes gun range ordinance

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — A Vandalia moratorium on outdoor shooting ranges that had been in place since late 2017 was lifted on Monday evening, but it is unclear if, or when, an outdoor shooting range might reopen in the city.

A moratorium was passed in 2017 barring the acceptance of any zoning applications for outdoor shooting ranges. That action came after the city revoked the permit for the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds (MVSG) on Johnson Station Road for multiple violations of the permit.

MVSG applied for a new permit in November 2017 and the indoor shooting range was allowed, but a permit for an outdoor range was denied by then Police Chief Douglas Knight who said an outdoor range would be “detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the City.” MVSG was granted an indoor shooting permit.

The owner of the gun range, Dana Tackett, appealed that decision to the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court and the matter is still pending. Mr. Tackett recently passed away and it is unclear if this will have any effect on the litigation.

Under the ordinance passed Monday evening, the city defined application and permit requirements, time limits for the approval or denial of a permit, rules for shooting ranges, permit revocation/non- renewal provisions, an appeals process, and establishes organization liability.

Outdoor shooting ranges were not included as a permitted use under the city’s updated Zoning Code passed in January, so new outdoor ranges will not be approved.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.