HARKER HEIGHTS —Business owner J.C. Schoel told the City Council on Tuesday that he plans to build a 15- to 20-lane indoor shooting range on Lookout Ridge Boulevard, if he receives city approval.
One obstacle is an ordinance banning long guns and capping the maximum caliber of handguns at 0.46 inches in indoor shooting ranges.
When Schoel presented his case to the council at Tuesday’s meeting, officials expressed concern that noise from the range would disrupt the adjacent East Rim development, slated for completion in 2016.
Schoel wants to install 10 to 15 25-foot lanes for small-caliber handguns, and another five lanes for larger-caliber handguns and rifles, separating the two areas by safety and sound barriers, he said. He said he intends to contain shot sounds within the building.
Schoel said he hopes to cater to hunters who want to test their rifles before hunting season.
City Manager Steve Carpenter said the city’s biggest concern was weapon size.
“If noise escapes to neighboring properties, I could see how you run into problems with higher-caliber rifles,” he said.
Building the range would prevent city tax leakage by stopping rifle shooters from going to ranges outside Heights, Schoel said. The city would earn 30 percent more tax revenue from indoor ranges by allowing them to accommodate rifles.
Councilman Sam Murphey said the range would be a “great addition” to Harker Heights, and Mayor Mike Aycock expressed support as well.
“I know you have a good project, but we have some concerns,” Aycock said. “We’ll bring this back another time.”
In other business, the council appointed Councilman Rob Robinson as mayor pro tem for one year.
The council also appointed Councilman Spencer Smith as its voting member of the Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization.