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Muskego gun club to turn target range away from homes

Club to move toward south to avoid stray bullets landing in neighbors' yards

March 17, 2013

Muskego - An official of the Schultz Resort Rod and Gun Club, S8025 Schultz Lane, told the Finance Committee its target range could be turned away from homes as early as this fall.

The gun club's neighbors have complained sporadically over 11 years that bullets they believe originated at the gun club have ended up in their yards. The most recent incident was Nov. 18, when a resident said he and his children hit the dirt in their backyard due to gunfire.

Because the gun club has berms and other safety features to keep spent ammunition inside, club officials say they believe the stray bullets were the result of hunters elsewhere in the broader neighborhood and not the gun club itself.

But the club has agreed to turn its range away from homes anyway. The range faces northwest now and will face south. Although there are homes to the south, none would be in the line of fire, Len Pilak, gun club president, said after the meeting.

By using soil from the Janesville Road widening project that the city has offered and other soil from contractors, the club will create two 25-foot-tall parallel berms up to 300 yards long as protection for the range's new orientation. The berms will be along both sides of the new shooting corridor, Pilak said. A backstop berm will be created at the far end to keep bullets from going into Big Muskego Lake.

To ensure the safest range design, the gun club will have help from a National Rifle Association shooting range expert, Pilak said.

"It sounds like they're getting there," Alderman Neil Borgman said.

Neighbor Gregg Schmidt was hopeful but cautions because the gun club has given assurances before.

"It sounds good, as it has in the past," Schmidt said. "It's the follow through."

Muskego police will check progress with the club in April and Pilak will give monthly reports to the committee.

While that is going on, the club will take measures to protect neighbors. It will substantially upgrade training of its members in gun safety, Pilak said. It also will add dirt to the existing berms, pull out debris that can cause bullets to ricochet and install baffles to keep bullets lower to the ground.

The gun club was started in 1937. The 275-member club has been working for some time on buying the land the club sits on for $400,000. After forming an investment club and leasing the land back to the club, it was able to get a mortgage last year and buy the land.

It has now filed to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to enhance its fundraising ability, Pilak said.

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