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Judge: Precision Gun Rifle Range Cannot Reopen As-Is

A bullet hole in the side of a house in Owen County.

(Adam Pinkser/WTIU News)

Precision Gun Range cannot reopen its rifle range as-is, according to a preliminary injunction handed down Friday from special Judge Michael Keele.

Nearby residents have complained of stray bullets hitting their houses near the Owen County gun range and filed suits against both the gun range and county.

In the injunction, Keele says the Owen County Board of Zoning Appeals did not have the authority to permit the rifle range to reopen, and didn’t follow the proper process in doing so. Therefore, the operation of the rifle range was found illegal.

That doesn’t mean the case is over yet, though.

“The case stays on the docket,” says attorney Jon Hughes, who has been representing the residents who brought the case forward. “We can continue because there has to be a final order in the case. But it’s a signal today that the judge believes they have a reasonable likelihood of success of winning the case at the beginning of the day.”

Despite a final ruling still to come, the rifle range is closed indefinitely.

“If somewhere down the road the parties settled, then the injunction could come off,” Hughes says. “If somewhere down the road the parties decided not to pursue the case, if the gun range decided to operate the range, then there’s no preliminary injunction needed anymore.”

Precision Gun Range did not respond in time for comment.

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