DIA Officials Concerned About Proposed Shooting Range

Adams County Officials Say Shooting Range Necessary To Meet Demand

A plan for a shooting range near Denver International Airport is drawing a lot of fire.

Airport officials are worried about flight safety, saying errant bullets could endanger low-flying planes.

The proposed 60-acre site seems far enough away from the airport, but airport officials said a future runway would be just 2 miles from the proposed location, on East 120th Avenue and Gun Club Road.

That means planes that are taking off or landing would be just 500 feet in the air when they pass over the proposed shooting range.

Adams county officials say the range is needed to meet public demand in the metro area.

The county said safety rules would include no armor-piercing ammunition, no Browning machine guns and no rapid fire -- meaning there must be at least one second between shots.

Abel Montoya, the planning director for Adams County, said the county is conducting an airspace analysis, which was requested by the Federal Aviation Administration to address safety concerns.

He said the range will be built to prevent stray bullets and intentional fire from hitting aircraft.

"The facility is planned to be built with concrete walls. That goes back to the noise barrier and would prevent escapement of projectiles. In addition, the county is planning on a baffle system. This is called a no blue sky system, which means shooting down range you wouldn't be able to see the sky," Montoya said.

Montoya adds the county will still have to work out the funding for the project, which is estimated to cost $7.5 million.

Adams County commissioners are scheduled to take up the public shooting range proposal at a hearing on Oct. 4.

Assessments conducted by the U.S. departments of Homeland Security and Justice found the presence of a public shooting range would likely pose a threat to DIA security, according to the Denver Post, which first reported the story.