Nearly 200 people pack public hearing on construction of Firestone Shooting Range

Residents discuss noise and environmental concerns

FIRESTONE, Colo. - Nearly 200 people packed into the Firestone town hall for public hearing concerning the construction of a gun range Tuesday.

The crowd left standing room only as developers and locals discussed public concern over the Firestone Shooting Range, which would be used to train law enforcement. Developers held back on construction of the facility until community concerns could be better addressed.

Developers showed a video about new technology that would help soundproof the range and brought in an Oscar-winning soundman to testify about noise levels at the facility.

"You can find lots of people in Colorado and across the country that can do firearms training, but finding a facility to do it in is the challenge," said Jeff Nieusma, who supports construction of the range.

The initial plan has been revised to reduce noise at the gun range, developers announced Monday. Plans for an outdoor range and machine gun training have been scrapped.

Still, many opponents object to the environmental impact of the project.

"The residents around there are not opposed to guns. We all have guns. That's not the issue," said Veronica Silbaugh, an opponent of the project.

Attendees included members of the group Save the Vrain, an organization that seeks to halt construction of the range in order to protect the St. Vrain River Valley. The group spoke about noise and environmental concerns surrounding the project.

"The issue is the use of the land for a gun range. That's a pristine area of the St. Vrain valley," she said.

The facility is large enough to house aircraft and automobiles that would be used for homeland security training.

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