AUBURN (CBS13) — At 68-feet tall and 650-feet long some are calling it the green monster. The Auburn Trapshooting club built a wall specifically to muffle the sound of gunfire that has been a nuisance to some neighbors…but their plan backfired.
“I can’t say we were sold a bill of goods because that really wasn’t true, but everyone thought it would work as advertised, and it doesn’t,” said club preside Chris Slane.
In fact, many say it’s even loader now because instead of hearing each shot, you also get an echo. One resident says he recorded the sounds and showed us a chart explaining what it’s louder now.
“The small bump that you see here is the sound of the actual gunshot, the large bump, actually going to the extreme of the graph is the ricochet sound, the echo,” said resident Howard Koons.
The club, a non-profit, spent $700,000 on the wall, $100,000 of their own money, and $600,000 from one person who apparently lives on a hill nearby. Residents claim the big donor wanted to dampen the sound at his property, which apparently worked, but it’s gotten worse for others.
A resident who says he lives two miles away says he supports the club, but not the wall.
“This afternoon actually it sounded like someone next door was shooting. We’ve had complaints from six miles up range, actually getting close to downtown Auburn and someone eight miles north of the club,” said Eric Boucher.
But not everyone around here is complaining.
“I’m used to the shooting in the nights that they shoot and it just doesn’t seem to be a problem,” said Roger Preis.
The club has been around since 1949, much longer than most residents, and there wasn’t a serious problem, until now. The president says he sympathizes with his neighbors and is working on possible solutions, like adjusting the walls angle and removing some panels.
But some say there’s only way thing to do.
“The solution as I see it is to take down the wall,” said Koons.
Youth clubs shoot there and it’s one of the few trap ranges in the area. Now, the club realizes it’s future is in jeopardy if it can’t find a solution soon. And it’s hoping residents don’t start to arm themselves with lawyers.
“It may be that they get an injunction. The judge says stop shooting until you figure it out. I hope it doesn’t come to that,” said Slane.