Columbia Station gun range controversy has some residents concerned about safety

Posted at 10:38 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 22:52:50-04

Some residents living in Columbia Station are concerned about an outdoor gun range, they believe could be creating a safety issue.

Residents said the gun range, located on Station Road and owned by Brian Lanckiewicz, is situated on a vacant six-acre parcel that is zoned residential.

Neighbor Phil Rozzi said he's worried the constant open shooting at the property could threaten the safety of homes in the area.

"It happened in Eaton Township, bullets have come through people's houses, just in the last three months," Rozzi said. "It's a risky situation, it's not good.  Common sense tells you, you don't do this in a residential area, you just don't."

Rozzi said some 400 new homes have been built in Columbia Township over the past few years, causing the population to swell to more than 7,000.

He thinks Ohio law allowing open shooting in growing townships needs to be re-examined.

John Chomoa, a former Columbia Township zoning inspector, lives across the street from the outdoor gun range.

Chomoa thinks current township usage regulations on parcels zoned residential, but remain vacant, won't allow a gun range on the property.

"There's no building, no one is living there," he said. "It's basically a gun range. Somebody has to get out there and really take charge and say 'hey what's good for our community,' you know, use a little common sense."

But so far, Columbia Township Trustees side with Lanckiewicz, and told News 5 the Ohio Revised Code supersedes township regulations in this case.

Lanckiewicz allowed News 5 onto his property, outlining the safety precautions he's taken, showing us the extensive backstop mound he built to ensure bullets stay on his property.

He has held a meeting with all concerned parties about the gun range six weeks ago and is confident he is operating within the law and all safety guidelines.

"I want people to see that we're not just shooting into the woods," Lanckiewicz said, and, "I will continue to communicate with all my neighbors to see what can be done to make everyone comfortable with what is going on here."

"I will even call my neighbor across the street to let him know when we will be shooting," he added. 

Still, Rozzi is asking trustees to review their ruling.

"I don't care how good the range is, it's an exterior range built on a residential piece of property," Rozzi said.