City of Vandalia revokes shooting range permit

Range called threat to safety

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — The City of Vandalia has revoked the permit of the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds on Johnson Station Road.

The action by Vandalia Police Chief comes after Vandalia resident Jamie Spencer sued the gun range and asked the city to shut the gun range down due to bullets coming onto his property.

In a letter to the range’s owner Dana Tackett, Knight says the decision was made after an investigation.

“I have carefully considered all the information available to me, including your specific admissions and responses to questions I posed during our investigative meeting at the Vandalia Justice Center on October 5, 2017,” Knight wrote.

Reasons for revoking the permit were discharging firearm(s) from a place other than the permit premises; failing to provide supervision to ensure projectiles were confined to the property; firing weapons in a direction other than east to west to use a 50-foot hill as a backstop; projectiles not being confined to the property; and knowingly discharging a firearm in or on a motor vehicle.

“I conclude that continued discharge of firearms…pose a threat to public safety and are detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the municipality,” said Knight.

Tackett has 10 days to appeal the revocation.

The range’s permit was issued in 2007 by Knight and specified that weapons may only be fired in an east to west direction while using a 50-foot hill on the western side of the property as a backstop as well as “take all necessary measures and provide supervision sufficient to ensure that projectiles are confined to the property.”

Jamie Spencer, who owns property near the gun range, cites reports completed by the Vandalia Division of Police as proof that the range was not operating within the limits of its permit.

In a report completed by the Vandalia Division of Police on September 7, officers observed shooters on a range running north-south as well as bullets landing on Unibilt’s property at 7731 Johnson Station Road. In that report, a Vandalia Police Officer noted “several rounds whiz by us” and stated “we both knew it was not safe where we were.”

Sgt. Todd Flynn said in the report “it was obvious to me that the shooters were a threat to public safety and not in compliance with the permit issued by Chief (Douglas) Knight.

They then ordered the range shut down and notified Tackett that he must be in compliance with the permit.

Previously, in a report dated August 27, 2017, police noted that there were no range officers present despite all booths being filled with shooters.
Range called threat to safety

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.