Gun Operators in Lake County Allowed to Use Flamethrowers to Contribute to a Less Noisy Neighborhood

Gun range operators in Lake County who have been the source of controversy for years have now been permitted to use flamethrowers.

There have been complaints from neighbors since 2018 about large events and constant loud gunfire at the Ares Training Center in North Leesburg.

In 2019, a conditional use permit was granted which restricted what people could do there and when.

On Tuesday, Ares operators sought permission to operate more days and hours and to use flamethrowers, from the Lake County Board of Commissioners.

“We’re just hoping to get some more hours, just to be a little more competitive with the other gun ranges in the area,” Ares Manager Colin Johnson said.

The neighbors who opposed the shooting range in 2019 were not pleased with the request.

“It’s the noise,” homeowner Louise Crews stated. “I agree with my neighbors about that, because I hear it. It’s horrible.”

Commissioners of Lake County denied most of Ares’ requests and only approved the use of flamethrowers after hours of public comment and testimony.

Although some commissioners were concerned about fire safety, others believed the flamethrowers would at least not contribute to the noise most neighbors complain about.

“At least we know there’s a time limit,” Crews stated. “There’s a day limit, and I think most of us are pleased to see what happened today.”

Even though they didn’t get everything they requested, Johnson said the outcome wasn’t disappointing considering how often they receive requests for flamethrowers. He is pleased that they can now provide flamethrowers to the public.


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