New Vandalia law regulates shooting ranges in the city

VANDALIA — For more than a year, a battle has ensued between the city of Vandalia and the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds.

On Monday night, just days after range owner Dana Tackett on Friday succumbed to cancer, City Council put in place a number of new rules, which city leaders said included some suggestions made by the range.

“This ordinance establishes regulations for the operation of any new or existing indoor shooting range, and also outdoor shooting ranges that were permitted under the zoning code prior to January of 2019,” City Manager Jon Crusey said.

The council tabled discussion on renewing the temporary ban on new range permits. It was set to expire Monday night.

In 2017, the city put a moratorium on new shooting range permits after it revoked the permit for the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds. Police said the range at the time didn’t do enough to make sure projectiles stayed on the property.

Attorneys for the range said Tackett instituted stricter rules and made tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades.

“I had the opportunity to meet with Dana probably four or five times over the past years at the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds,” Councilman Bob Ahlers said. “The meetings were always professional. We all treated each other with respect, and Dana was a good man.”

The new ordinance puts restrictions on hours of operations and bans weapons above .30-06 caliber or 12 gauge from being used outdoors. It also states “projectiles from shooting or archery must be confined to the property where the shooting range is located.”

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