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Shingle Springs to still get gun range - just much smaller and private | News

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Shingle Springs to still get gun range - just much smaller and private

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians is going forward with a controversial outdoor gun range off Highway 50 and Shingle Springs Road in El Dorado County -- but with modifications.

Citing its greater goal "to be a good neighbor", the tribe has decided to build a much smaller private range, probably five or six lanes as compared to the 29 public lanes originally proposed, according to tribal administrator Ernie Vargas.

Also, to address neighbors' concerns about noise, Vargas said the location of the range on the two-acre plot will move farther away from residents.

In a news release, the tribe stated no shooting will be allowed during nearby school or church worship hours.

Only tribal members and their guests will have use of the range.

Vargas said the tribe was in the process of testing various features to the range. He said there would be a dirt back stop and a bullet trap. Barrier berms will also be part of the range, according to tribe spokesperson Kim Stoll.

The change is a compromise for neighbors like Randy Wells, pastor of Discovery Hills Church, located 1,000 yards from the range.

"What they're showing is they want to be good neighbors and they're sensitive to us and our concerns," Wells said.

But not all residents are pleased. Darren and Susan Wirgler live a few hundred feet away from the gun range but fear a stray bullet could come flying through their property.

"Having the trajectory toward our home and the noise coming toward our home," Darren Wirgler said.

Tribal officials said they are taking steps to make the range safer.

Vargas said he expected the range to be completed by the end of summer.


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