Byers Residents Express Concerns Over Gun Range During City Council Meeting

Frustrations were at all-time high during a city council meeting in Byers on Thursday evening regarding an outdoor gun range operating inside the city limits.

No action was taken during the meeting because councilors say there is no ordinance that forbids E6 Defense Company gun range from operating inside the city limits.

During the meeting, residents voiced their opinions and concerns to the council and Clay County officials including Sheriff Kenny Lemons and Clay County Attorney Seth Slagle.

Residents argue the gun range is located too close to homes.

They stress that they are not trying to infringe on gun rights but that it is a safety issue.

Residents like April Washburn are concerned that a stray bullet could leave the range and hit a person, animal or property.

Sheriff Kenny Lemons says his hands are tied because there is no Texas law prohibiting the operation of the gun range.

Even though no decision was made on the future of the range, residents are looking at different options including filing a civil action lawsuit.

Both sides of the argument say they will continue to fight for their rights.

"I'm not willing to give up," Washburn exclaims. "I'll do what I have to do. Take it to my state representatives or whoever I need to take it to. I'm not willing to quit. It's my child's safety."

E6 Defense Company owner Doug Holbert says he wants to put this issue behind him.

"I want to work with the community but at the same time, I want my rights protected," Holbert says. "I want people to respect my privacy. I want people to respect my rights to run a company legally and to run a safe organization."

Washburn says she will continue to circulate a petition around town against the gun range in hopes enough community support will help her cause.

Holbert says he is following NRA guidelines for a shooting range.

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