Target shooting band for Brox area tabled

MILFORD – A divided board of selectmen postponed action on a target shooting ban for the Brox property at its meeting on Monday, May 8, asking those who want a shooting area to give them a detailed plan.

Selectmen also asked the group to investigate the Londonderry shooting range, and to talk to the Londonderry police chief and the target shooters who use the property to learn how it’s working. They asked the group to include methods for cleaning up lead and controlling noise.

The board’s vote was 3-2, with Chairman Mark Fougere and Kevin Federico, who both support a prohibition, voting no. The two selectmen suggested passing a rule that could later be amended to allow some kind of limited target shooting.

“We have a right to control our own property, and there is a school nearby,” Fougere said.

But Gary Daniels moved to table the motion and allow the group to make a plan to set aside an area for shooting.

The town’s skate park and football pose more risks than a shooting range, he said, and he questioned the town’s authority to forbid shooting, since New Hampshire has a law that doesn’t allow cities and towns to enact firearms laws more restrictive than the state’s.

Milford Police Chief Michael Viola, who had asked for some kind of prohibition against target shooting, said Monday night his officers don’t have time to monitor shooting at Brox.

Without a rule, he has said, police can’t tell people to leave when neighbors and others complain about shooting.

Everyone agreed, though, that shooting takes place there infrequently. Viola had said they get about four complaints a year, sometimes from staff at the nearby Heron Pond Elementary School.

The motion on the rule was tabled until Monday, June 26, with the group asked to bring a plan to the board by Wednesday, June 21.

During public hearings on the proposed ban, people had spoken for and against, with neighbors saying they’re anxious about going there while shooting is allowed.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.