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Firing range endangers lives, property, some Rutherford County homeowners say

<i></i><br/>Some homeowners in rural Rutherfordton said a nearby shooting range has them fearing for their lives.
Lawrence, Nakia

Some homeowners in rural Rutherfordton said a nearby shooting range has them fearing for their lives.

By Kimberly King

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    RUTHERFORDTON, North Carolina (WLOS) — Some homeowners in rural Rutherfordton said a nearby shooting range has them fearing for their lives. And, they said, they’ve lost their tranquil existence in the rural countryside amid what they characterize as incessant gunfire five days a week.

“I called Rutherford County,” Randy Ward said. “They came out with two officers.”

Ward said, two weeks ago, he found a bullet outside his outbuilding on his farm off Jess Lamb Road. He said it matches the imprint in a dent where a bullet struck the door. The bullet, he said, came from the direction of the gun range.

“There’s one (hole) on the siding of my house right where my bedroom’s at,” said Ward, who has lived on his property since 1970.

Though Ward has never found a bullet in the nearby grass, he believes the bullet came from the firing range.

“If they were shooting right now, you wouldn’t want to be standing here,” he said

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office detectives are returning to the range Tuesday to investigate.

Kathy Klopp is at her wit’s end. She keeps recordings of the gunfire noise.

“We need help,” said Klopp, who is now living in a home with her daughter because she fears being struck by a stray bullet.

“We’ve got a new sheriff in town,” Jay Quinn, another neighbor, said. “We’re just looking for some help.”

“Safety’s a priority here, to make sure citizens are safe,” Sheriff Aaron Ellenburg said.

Ellenburg has a meeting with neighbors Wednesday.

The gun range, Off The X Training Solutions, is owned and managed and owned by Adam and Pamela Crumpton.

“I have already done a number of things to address neighbors’ concerns,” said Adam Crumpton, who disputes allegations stray bullets have landed on neighbors’ land.

“I’m aware of the round that was found off Jess Lamb Road. That was in the midst of hunting season,” he said

Crumpton said there’s a microscopic chance the bullet came from his range.

“We own the ridgeline that’s behind the firing line. Investigators are coming out tomorrow and doing an investigation based on the complaints lodged,” Crumpton said.

Crumpton, who’s aware neighbors have filed a civil complaint lawsuit, said he meets all safety standards required for his range with 4-foot high safety berms around the range.

Crumpton said he wants to invite neighbors to come talk with him and tour the range so he can show them the precautions in place to prevent stray bullets from traveling to their property.

Potential legal action could involve trespass charges if it can be proven errant bullets are coming from the range and damaging neighbors’ property or ending up on their property.

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