Tyrone gun range zoning: Council priorities are not residents’

Is Tyrone Town Council listening to its constituents?

On March 1, 2012, Tyrone Town Council approved by a 3-2 vote to place a gun shop and shooting range in the Southampton Shopping Center within 400 feet of Southampton Subdivision (largest subdivision in Tyrone).

There was significant opposition largely on the grounds that putting the gun shop and shooting range in the Southampton Shopping Center was too close to a residential area. The issue was location, location, location!

There are a number of questions that need to be asked: Who at Town Hall gave the gun store owner only four locations to put his business?

He stated one piece of property was too small, one was near a school and another residential area ... why chose the one near Southampton? This choice is not fully explained ... the public needs to know where are these locations, and are there steps that the town could have taken to accommodate a better fit?

Could the shooting range and gun store have been placed in a heavy mechanical or industrial zoning district? Who is in charge of business development and planning for the town? What safeguards are there for transparency and community input? If the town council members can claim that they didn’t have enough information on this, 1) Why don’t they? 2) Why didn’t they abstain from the vote? 3) Or bring it back for reconsideration after there was more discovery? 4) What were the legal ramifications of waiting?

A bigger question is; why doesn’t Tyrone have a plan to help existing local businesses expand and attract new businesses in the right location within our town? Tyrone could take lessons from Peachtree City.

The Citizen had an article in the March 3-4, 2012 weekend edition titled “Economic Development Pact OK’d.” Peachtree City contracts with “experts” at Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA). Tyrone has no plan!

Here’s Peachtree City’s plan: Peachtree City will invest $75,000 a year for the next two years and FCDA will hire an employee to work on those goals, be the city’s main point of contact for business inquiries and the promotion of Peachtree City as a location for new business and industrial companies.

This is an example worth following. Having a plan in place, we can attract new businesses that fit within the existing ideals of the community and ensure they get placed in the right locations in our town. This way we avoid what happened on March 1, 2012.

Tyrone has the money to invest; we are sitting on a 13-month reserve ($3.5 million). Why not invest $75,000 a year for the next two years and get some expertise in planning the future of Tyrone?

Tyrone is second behind Peachtree City in the amount of taxes we pay in the county. What do we get in the Town of Tyrone for our tax dollars?

It appears we are paying too much in taxes to garner such a large reserve. The town should either invest our tax dollars back into the town or refund it back to the people.

There was a major outcry from the residents in Tyrone to not put the gun shop and shooting range in the Publix Shopping Plaza. Our mayor, Eric Dial, broke the tie and voted to place the shop in a location against the will of the people.

Dial is quoted saying, “It’s not an ideal location. And we don’t always have sovereign power over where everything is located. Sometimes it comes down to free enterprise and property rights.”

It comes down to planning and priorities, Mr. Mayor ... what’s next? A gentlemen’s club next to the pizzeria?

The people of Tyrone have a right to know and understand how this decision was made. It appears that the Town Council made this possible for the gun shop and shooting range to go in the shopping plaza by changing the zoning to accommodate this special request.

There must be a better process, so major mistakes like this will not happen again.

Pota Coston

Tyrone, Ga.

[Ms. Coston lost to Ryan Housley for the Post 2 seat on the council last fall.]

mwbarrow20's picture
Joined: 12/31/2006
Gun Range/ Store

Widespread gun ownership is a right we have to accept. There are way too
many people owning guns (especially handguns) for self-defense
but have no training whatsoever. The guns aren't going away. The people need training and practice to be safe, responsible gun owners. The
access to this training/practice needs to be conveniently located. Whereever it's built it will be safe. There are a thousand safety regulations governing these facilities. Not to mention the liability insurance company.

cartmanspeedzone's picture
Joined: 05/12/2010
Ms. Coston, you don't speak for me

I don't care if they put a gun range next to the baseball fields, a primary focus of ANY gun range I've been a part of has been safety- not just immediate safety of preventing an accident on or near the property, but TEACHING gun safety while allowing Americans (oh no he didn't go pull the "A" card!) to exercise their freedom to responsibly bare arms. Without such facilities, where else in this area do we have to teach gun safety/handling to those who are inexperienced, thus preventing the kind of unsubstantiated parking lot 'accidents' alluded to here?

Thank you to the current leadership in Tyrone for doing the right thing.

Ms. Coston, do not speak for me- I am a resident of Tyrone, I am one of the 'people of Tyrone', and as far as I'm concerned proper decisions were made.

'Major outcry'... seriously? Folks, our rights are slowing being corroded away by instant media comments like 'major outcry' and 'prejudicial decision' - buzz words and phrases used by those who want to further their causes. Well, here's one- let's be heard on May 3rd!!!

sunshine girl
sunshine girl's picture
Joined: 04/20/2009
Negligent Discharge (ND)

ND AD call it what you will the result is the same. Stats on ND are not accurate b/c most are not reported.

There is already a house on my street where the buy is contingent on the range not being built. This is not a hypothetical. This range will degrade my home equity. What is your stake in this?

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008
Nuk is exactly right Sunshine

You know it could have been worse.. You could have had something really undesirable... say a Starship but then again I bet a lot of S. Hampton residents would have been out buying sunglasses and hoodies.

Sunny you bought the property you bought the baggage that goes with it. To whine about it now and want the local Government to do "something" is well very Progressive of you.
If you thought that they would build nothing on a C2 zoned location that it would just stay empty forever is a bit of bad planning to me.

ND's are so statistically negligible at Armory's/Gun Ranges as to be nonexistent. Besides there are no parking spaces behind the proposed Armory. All parking is in front so unless someone is carrying a Barrett's .50 I seriously doubt a round could pass through the buildings and impact on a home...just saying.

Aytry's and Smith and Wesson have been in business for years and see hundreds of people all carrying and all with varying skill levels going in and out every day.

Not one reported discharge... NOT ONE. So your analogy of standing in a field with a lighting rod is a little silly.

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
Glad to see Tyrone catch-up with PTC on whining

You moved into a subdivision facing COMMERCIAL PROPERTY. You know anything about history? How about the history of the city of Tyrone already going to court and rightfully losing over the Southhampton shopping center development that was already zoned COMMERCIAL?

The few idiots in Planterra that somehow failed to notice railroad tracks right in front of their subdivision before buying may sympathize with you, but I don't.

For an allegedly "conservative" or "Republican" area, ya'll don't give a damn whatsoever about the concept of property rights, which doesn't surprise me at all.
You are all in favor of that "concept" until what you miserably failed to notice before moving in develops into something you don't "want."

Tyrone has always been PTC prices with nothing anywhere close to PTC amenities so you should be grateful that you now have something PTC doesn't and will actually attract people into your city and also boost some tax revenues.

Liferfrom65's picture
Joined: 09/26/2007
Blood and pizza sauce

There will be blood and pizza sauce running through the Publixs parking lot. I always wondered what those stains were over at Autrey's.

AtHomeGym's picture
Joined: 01/18/2007
Sunshine Girl, Negligent Discharge & Hesitant Buyer

First, suggest you pay attn to what Steve Lindsey says for he knows his stuff. Second, if there is a possible buyer who is hesitant due to the possibility of a Gun Shop & Firing Range being built in the community, perhaps you just might not want that person as a neighbor anyway!

sunshine girl
sunshine girl's picture
Joined: 04/20/2009
Where's the common sense?

1st of all I am a card carrying member of the NRA, an avid sport shooter and hunter. I have owned and used firearms for over 25 years. I received firearms training from US Navy SEALs and had long time contacts within LE SWAT as well. I plan to use this range so it should be evident that my concerns are experience based and not anti 2nd amendment rhetoric.
2nd of all I am a resident of Southampton and my property is in line of site of this range.
My concern is not what goes on inside of the range. As already stated this will be a state of the art facility and I certainly hope a fun and safe place to frequent. My concerns are what may happen in the parking lot regarding Accidental Discharge (AD). If this is a new concept to you please use wiki to become an instant expert.
AD is most common when people are handling their weapons such as unloading your carry ammo (The good stuff) and loading range ammo (The cheep stuff). How likely is this to be happening in the parking lot of a shooting range? As people cycle in and out over the course of years how much do the odds of an AD increase?
How likely are you to choose to raise a family in the line of fire of said parking lot? What are the odds you or anyone will pay fair market value for a home such as mine now? How would you like to be in my shoes? (Or back yard!)
Further to the line that most Southampton residents are indifferent to this range within 400 feet our neighborhood; you can be assured that we were only informed of a zoning change not the application for a gun range. Now that this is more out in the open the HOA is mounting a legal challenge with HUGE support from the residents.
I am in favor of a range in Tyrone. I am not in favor of putting it on top of a residential neighborhood. Where’s the common sense?

kcchiefandy's picture
Joined: 09/18/2009

...I do not frequent civilian gun ranges, but if the range required trained range personnel to confirm all weapons leaving the range were clear, an AD would most probably not happen (this is proper procedure in the US Army for leaving a range). I don't know if one can compel a range owner to do so, but its a common sense way to keep a range (and parking lot) safe. Just an idea; no expert here.

sunshine girl
sunshine girl's picture
Joined: 04/20/2009
Good Idea


Let me again make clear that I am in favor of the range just not the location. Hopefully they will be more serious about their gun handling than they are at the Olympic Skeet range but regardless there will be people loading/reloading in the parking lot. Accidents happen. It's one thing to say that you have the same chance as being struck by lightning it's another to stand in an open field with a lightning rod in your hand. It's about odds.

More so, for me, it is about perception for potential home buyers in this neighborhood. There is already a home sale contingent on the range not being built. This range will degrade my home equity. Why can't they go on the other side of the Rock Quarry next to our neighborhood or any number of locations in a more industrial area? It just seems like building this range 130 yards from the 1st home is like standing in a field with a lightning rod.

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008

Do you have any stats on AD's at say Gun Range/Armory's vs. any other business?
The proper term in Negligent Discharge but I am sure you already know this.

ND's are not the norm at any Gun Range any more then for any other business.

btw- Pull that manual on the LA Swat(assuming you meant LA and not LE) tactics handbook. Circa 1996. Turn to the credits page. I to have had some experience in the area. ND's are in fact rare since all Gun ranges have in place rules that require you to carry in battery unloaded so the odds of an ND are very low whereas people who carry concealed are more likely to have an ND while exiting their vehicle or more likely at home while loading and unloading.

Sunshine I understand your "fear/concern" however you are more likely to be struck by a 747 in your backyard then a ND in a parking lot.

sunshine girl
sunshine girl's picture
Joined: 04/20/2009


Tyronian's picture
Joined: 03/21/2012
Tyrone takes gun safety seriously!
ptcrealtor's picture
Joined: 05/14/2008
Tyrone Gun Range

It sounds like sour grapes to me for Ms. Coston to be pitching a fit about a legitimate business that will bring tax revenue to our town. It might actually reduce the crime in Southampton and slow the drug deals in the Publix parking lot. I for one can't wait for it to be built so us law abiding gun owners can have a place to gather and shoot in our town. Thanks you Mayor Dial and the council members that voted to approve this.

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008
I'll be one of the first in line for a membership

some of the detractors are just anti-business/progress, the don't change my town type or anti-gun.

There is no real argument.

RKS's picture
Joined: 07/23/2009
ptcrealtor - didn't work in Clayton County
ptcrealtor wrote:

It sounds like sour grapes to me for Ms. Coston to be pitching a fit about a legitimate business that will bring tax revenue to our town. It might actually reduce the crime in Southampton and slow the drug deals in the Publix parking lot. I for one can't wait for it to be built so us law abiding gun owners can have a place to gather and shoot in our town. Thanks you Mayor Dial and the council members that voted to approve this.

There is a gun range in Forest Park and there are lots of gun shops in Riverdale.....do you think it has deterred crime there? Nope, I don't think so....I think that's a lousy argument to have a gun store in Tyrone.

lrichardson's picture
Joined: 03/21/2012
You might want to consider

You might want to consider conducting some research before you state what do or do not deter crime. Data supports, expecially in the Metro ATL area that gun stores have contributed to crimes by selling illegal weapons etc.

Let's put one in your backyard since you support the range. How many other businesses do you know would want to move in next door to a gun range? Will a gun shop/range attract or detract commerce in the area?

G35 Dude
G35 Dude's picture
Joined: 02/15/2006
Research lrichardson

Would you please supply me with the source of your data?

opusman's picture
Joined: 08/08/2008
Doubtful you did any real research

Please cite your sources and/or studies that "Data supports, expecially in the Metro ATL area that gun stores have contributed to crimes by selling illegal weapons etc." Doubtful

cjc's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
Tyrone Gun range

What are the neighbors concerns? It is in an established shopping area that you knew was there when you bought your house. What it is? This is a completely enclosed building, noise abatement will meet current standards, and the Town needs any new business it can get. So what is the "MISTAKE"? It is a tough decision when a business is out of the "norm" for the Council to make a decision to approve, however the Town needs the business, the owner had the right to develop their business, so what is the problem? The Town of Tyrone has worked diligently for many years to try to make sure there is a place for every type of business in the Town. Or is it that you just don't like guns? Then DON"T GO THERE!! Get over it and let's support a new business.

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008
One question...

Why is placing a popular business with pedestrian traffic guaranteed that will enhance other businesses in the shopping center, a mistake?

Is it maybe a bias against gun owners peeking it's way through? Maybe...

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