Gun club wants town vote reversed

The Monadnock Rod and Gun Club wants a new vote after outdoor gun ranges were banned by voters at the May Town Meeting.

PETERBOROUGH — The Monadnock Rod and Gun Club says the Peterborough Planning Board pulled a fast one when it pushed through an ordinance change that bans outdoor gun ranges in town.

Outdoor gun ranges banned in Peterborough by zoning vote

Voters approved the zoning amendment on the May town meeting ballot, which bans all future outdoor shooting ranges in town.

The Monadnock Rod and Gun Club is the only outdoor shooting facility in Peterborough currently.

Attorneys for the club, Jason Reimers and Thomas Hannah of the law firm BCM Environmental and Land Law, wrote in a petition for a special town meeting that voters were never told what they were voting on.

The zoning amendment on the ballot was presented as a housecleaning package to clean up several definitions in the zoning ordinance, according to the club’s petition.

“The Planning Board notice and ballot misled (the club members) and the voters by indicating that the proposed new language regarding shooting ranges was merely a modification or clarification of the definition of ‘Recreational Facility,’” the petition states.

The club wants Peterborough’s selectmen to overturn the vote and set a special town meeting for voters to be able to make a more fully informed decision. The board is scheduled to consider the matter later this month.

The petition states that the club was never informed that the zoning amendment on the May ballot would outlaw outdoor ranges, and that this was never made clear to the public at the February public hearings.

Residents went for this change with 1,125 “yes” votes to 320 “no” votes.

The town is currently involved in a legal dispute with the Monadnock Rod and Gun Club over the location of its gun range and over allegations of wetland violations. The town forced the club to close its outdoor firing range last year, and the club is currently dealing with a lawsuit involving abutters. That lawsuit is set for trial in the Hillsborough Superior Court — North in Manchester this month.

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