Veterans have PTSD, noise concerns after shooting range moves in nearby

The Range at Austin (KXAN Photo)
The Range at Austin (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A month after The Range at Austin opened its doors in south Austin, hailing itself as the finest precision shooting range in the country, we’re hearing from neighbors concerned about the noise. KXAN investigated whether it’s loud enough to break the law. The answer, not clear because of where it’s located.

KXAN spoke with veterans who live at The Cottages apartment complex next door, who say they’re hearing loud gunshots consistently, at various hours of the day.

“I keep my windows open and I could hear like rapid fire gunshot go off. And I’m familiar with guns, I was in the military for six years,” Kate Vancil said, explaining she was deployed to Iraq in 2011. “Most of us came back with PTSD, and so having something like this that’s like always in the background, for lack of a better word, really sucks.”

She says she and at least six neighbors she’s spoken with, plan to move at the end of their lease because of the noise.

“I’ve seen the effects of PTSD,” neighbor and fellow veteran Jason Kordecki said. “That noise I know sounds like distant gunfire.”

Kordecki says he recently approached management at The Range to express the problem.

“They said that they were not in the city so they didn’t have to follow the sound ordinance for the city of Austin,” Kordecki told KXAN.

After a day of digging, KXAN learned the reason why it was tough to determine which agency is responsible for responding to noise complaints is because The Range’s parking lot is in the city of Austin. The building itself is in Travis County.

APD says it would be the agency to respond to complaints stemming from the surrounding area, including the neighboring apartment complex which is within the city limits. It would then coordinate with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office to determine the best way to handle a complaint. The county ordinance states noise cannot be louder than 85 decibels when it reaches the person complaining or law enforcement can issue a warning/citation. The city ordinance focuses more on time frames, restricting “unreasonable noise” between 10:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

At this time, no complaints have been filed with the city.

Despite The Range being closed within that time frame, Kordecki said, “I’ve heard gunshots from The Range as early as 6:30-7:00 in the morning and as late as 11:00 on the weekends.”

He emphasized he has no problem with shooting and has a collection of guns. “I enjoy the sport. I just don’t want to hear the sport while I’m having dinner with my family,” Kordecki said.

KXAN reached out to the business, which sent a statement saying, “The Range at Austin is committed to pursuing the best sound abatement technology in the industry and continues to perfect our facility.”

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