Operators of new gun range near El Dorado say neighbors shouldn't worry

BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. The grand opening of a new gun range near El Dorado Lake in Butler County raises some concerns for some who live near it.

But those who will be operating the range say there's nothing for neighbors to worry about.

The $2.3 million facility opens Saturday. A nonprofit group called Friends of the Range operates the range at 2980 NE Shady Creek Access Rd.

"I think it deserves a fair opportunity. It is a great opportunity for people to learn firearms and safety," says El Dorado resident Jonathan Zachary.

Friends of the Range President John Grange says it's been a years-long process to open the range This is so, he says, because the group did its homework.

Grange says the range was built with safety as its top priority. Walls separating each shooting lane are 14 feet tall and 14 inches thick.

"The people who designed this range have built ranges in 28 states. They've designed for the federal government, the FBI, the CIA," Grange says. "We've spent several years getting to this point. We've done our due diligence. It's going to be a great facility and a safe facility."

He says the range is open to the public during operating hours. In addressing potential concerns about noise, he says there is no shooting after dark.

Grange says his goal for the range and for those who live near it is simple.

"We're trying to be good neighbors, and we will (be)," he says.