Despite objections, South Jordan welcomes a new gun range
South Jordan is about to get its first indoor gun range. Its creator, John Maynard, believes the state-of- the-art range is the “best in the West.” But some residents see it as a possible nuisance and even a danger.
The Gun Vault will be located at 1231 West South Jordan Parkway. The existing 13,788-square-foot building is 150 feet away from a residential area.
The new range will feature 15 shooting lanes, along with a retail store with guns and gun accessories. The building will also house classrooms where gun enthusiasts will be able to take classes for concealed weapons permits, hunter safety and gun safety. The retail store will open in March, and the shooting range will be open in April.
“Our goal is to bring different segments of the shooting community together,” Maynard said.
Although Maynard said he is looking to make this a community resource, some residents are concerned it may be a hazard.
Randy Hughes lives next to where the Gun Vault will operate. His main concern is the danger of lead being put into the air by the range.
“All we want to know is that this thing is not noisy, smelly or unsafe,” he said. “If it is going to be a danger to the elderly or pregnant mothers, then it has no place here.”
The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, which presented its findings to the city council, expects the Gun Vault to emit a maximum of three pounds of lead a year. Federal law requires monitoring for sources that emit 1,000 pounds or more per year.
Maynard is working with Carey’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., a company which has built over 300 small arms range ventilation systems throughout the country, primarily for military and law enforcement.
“We have multi-stage HEPA filters—the best money can buy,” he said. “We will have no problem staying under limits.”
The amount of noise emanating from the shooting range is also a concern for residents. Scott Matheson operates a veterinary clinic 200 feet from the site.
“I treat animals every day for sound and noise phobias, and this is a big problem for us,” he said. “I have read where some of these facilities have really good soundproofing. Maybe they will; maybe they won’t.”
Matheson worries about the impact of the new shooting range on his business.
“This worries me because we just spent $2.5 million and five years of planning to open this facility. This could kill our facility dead as a doornail,” he said
Maynard believes that this will be the quietest gun range in the western United States. He said his people have built a “box within a box”—the gun range is basically a separate building inside the main building.
The Gun Vault was approved by the city council in a 4-1 vote on Nov. 20, on the condition it comply with the Salt Lake County Health Department’s rules regarding sound and lead and meets the Utah Department of Air Quality’s lead standards.
Councilmember Mark Seethaler was the only council member who voted against the gun range.
“We represent people, their lives, their homes and interests,” he said. “There is not one right clear answer in everything we do. This has both a personal and a business rights element.”
Hughes is working with The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman, to see if there is anything else he can do to ensure that the facility is safe for South Jordan residents.
“If I find out it is safe, I will shut up,” he said.