VA-ALERT: Orapax shooting range approved!

It's not a full-fledged victory, but it is a victory nonetheless. Orapax has been approved unanimously to operate a sporting clays range for two years before having to apply for an extension or modification to their Special Use Permit (SUP).

The restrictions are typical government silliness:

* Range can only be operated during hunting season from 9/1 through 4/30 each year. The Orapax range wanted to operate just the opposite - to bring in income outside of hunting season.

* Range is to operate from 10 AM to 4 PM and only have a maximum of 18 people per day use the range.

* The range can only be open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Not having the range open Sunday will be harmful to the business.

The good news is that Orapax has their foot in the door and will be able to show that the values of surrounding properties will not go down and perhaps could even go up. It's a big step forward, but not as big as I had hoped.

The meeting started at 7 PM and they finally voted on the ordinance at 2 AM! (It's now 3:14 AM and I'm hitting the hay.)

Thanks to all who came out and to those who sent in emails or made calls supporting the range. It all helped as there were quite a few opponents there and they weren't happy with the final vote. But, at the end of the day they'll see that this was much to do about nothing.

Alerts are going to continue to pour out for the foreseeable future, as the explosion of gun coverage in the media continues and as legislation is being introduced in Congress and, soon, in the General Assembly.

Hold on to your hats, it's going to be a rough ride. I appreciate your patience with the upcoming volume of alerts and updates. We are in a serious fight and we intend to win.