Closings and delays

Plans for possible public shooting range in Rockingham Co.

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- Two to three times a week, Roger Smith loads up his truck and heads to his favorite quiet place -- a 10-acre plot of land along the Dan River in Madison.

"It's a place to get away," Smith said. "There's a lot of good fishing right here."

But lately, he hasn't gotten much peace and quiet; instead he hears rounds of gunshots from shooters nearby taking target practice.

"It sounds just like you're in a firing range," he said.

It's a problem Rockingham County officials are trying to stop by looking at plans to build a public shooting range.

"You set up a perimeter around it where no bullets can go outside that perimeter," said Zane Cardwell, chairman of Rockingham County's Board of Commissioners.

Right now, the county has one private shooting range, but it requires membership.

So instead some residents practice in the woods or on farms which Cardwell says can be dangerous.

"People have to understand where they're pointing that gun," Cardwell said. "How far that bullet's going to travel and what's the impact?"

Earlier this year, the county approved a feasibility study to see where and how a shooting range would be built.

The results of that study will be presented to county commissioners on Oct. 20.

If the plan moves forward, the next step would be to find a location for the shooting range.