Jun 202009

nce again, the staccato bursts of machine gun fire will be rattling the windows and the nerves of the adjoining homeowners to Dr. Michael Land’s Wesley Chapel “Sports” shooting range.

In a decision which probably shocked as many in Dr. Land’s camp as as it does his opponents, Judge W. Erwin Spainhour has evidently decided in favor of machine guns next neighborhoods.

Click to view: Temporary Order – Michael R. Land vs Village of Wesley Chapel

The judge’s temporary order does not include any specificity as to the reasons for his ruling, we will have to wait to be enlightened. Conversely, the Village of Wesley Chapel has yet to issue a statement regarding their future course, should they (and I think they should) choose to appeal the ruling.

It always amazes me how the law in some regards can be as precise as a laser beam, but in other cases be as blunt as the flat side of the shovel. Maybe we should just blame the lawyers.

If Dr. Land had only used his shooting range for the little 22 cal. target rifle he sports for the news photographers and TV cameras at every opportunity, I don’t think people would have objected as strenuously as they do when he whips out his Thompson submachine gun and blasts away. Furthermore you have to wonder about BATF licensing procedures, as Dr. Land’s testimony during the Board of Adjustment hearing gave cause to question his application for a Class III ‘machine gun’ license.

Be that as it may, as long as hills of Wesley Chapel are alive with the sound of shot and cannonade, then Dr. Land’s shooting range will remain the target of angst and anger.

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 Posted by at 10:54 am

  112 Responses to “Dr. MachineGun wins – Judge overturns Wesley Chapel Board of Adjustments”

  1. When I was in college, I lived about 100 feet away from a railroad train connector station.. the kind where they roll the cars down a big hill and let gravity slam and lock them together.

    It happened mostly at 2am to 5pm.

    After a while, I got used to it. I never thought of suing the university for putting me in that dorm, though.

  2. It is 8:25 pm on Saturday and Dr. Land has been shooting all day since 8:20 am. Yesterday he was shooting high caliber and fully automatic weapons from 6:15 to 8 pm. Today he shot every gun in his arsenal including a fully auto and what sounds like a Barrett 50 caliber. This went on all day long, with the exception of some breaks for lunch and dinner. It is so loud it shakes our windows and makes one jump when he fires. Needless to say, we cannot enjoy our backyard at all. This is ridiculous. If Dr. Land was only shooting .22’s I doubt if anyone would care. He is not a good neighbor; he is rude and has no consideration for others because he disturbs the peace of those around him incessantly. He could have put up a metal building around his gun range to lesson the noise for his neighbors, but he continues to only think of his rights and cares not for the right of others to enjoy their property, as well.
    When we first moved in he only shot occasionally, which was fine. But before the moratorium, he was shooting just about every weekend and several times during the week and I am sure he will continue shooting as he has done the past two days.
    He lives in a neighborhood with other homes…why is there a gun range allowed when he is so close to other houses? Grandfathering him in doesn’t make any sense…he never should have been allowed to have a “gun range” in a neighborhood (where he has so few acres) to begin with.

  3. Mr. Land continues to demonstrate that he has no respect or consideration for the families living next to his tiny 5 acre site where he has resumed shooting his chain-gun and other over-the-top mini cannons. 5 acres is a joke for what this guy fires. The situation is absurd.

  4. Neighbor made an interesting comment that if there were just a 22 cal. being shot people wouldn’t be so upset. That is probably true with regards to the noise, however a 22 cal. is just as deadly as the machine gun if it leave a range and strikes someone who is down range. According to Clark Vargas, a well known range designer, the maximum distance of a 22 cal. long rifle is 4,590 feet. That’s not quite a mile. An unsafe range is an unsafe range. Even Lt. Col. Beekman stated he would not shoot any gun on the range because of the liability.

    What is so interesting is that in the Superior Court Appeal Hearing Land’s attorneys told the judge that 90% OF THE GUNFIRE AT THE RANGE WAS FROM A 22 CAL. This is just another of the many examples of inaccurate facts that are being told about this range. Only this one was told to a judge, in court, in a civil proceeding. I would assume even if the attorneys were not sworn in that they are officers of the court and are supposed to give accurate facts. I wonder where he got that 90% statistic?

  5. Where exactly is this shooting range located? I’d like to visit to see how loud this place actually is, or if it’s just people complaining for no reason.

    I assume you can hear it from the road or some other public place?

  6. Neighbor in Danger – I personally have been at the range and most of the guns being shot ARE 22 caliber, and are fired safely at the 3-million pound earthen berm. It would take a lot more than a 22 caliber, or even a 50 caliber bullet to make it through the backstop the range provides.

  7. Since I was home on Saturday when he was shooting for 12 hours, I can testify that the MAJORITY of the weapons didn’t SOUND like a .22(rim fire) and the noise was extremely loud. The majority of the shots sounded as loud as a .30-06 rifle or louder.(I would say 95% of them were this loud) However, Dr. Land could be firing any number of 22 caliber center fire high power rounds any of which could be as loud as a .30-06, so it may be true that the majority of the guns he fires are 22’s.

    I need to clarify about the statement I made in another post about that if Dr. Land was only shooting .22’s,I doubt if the neighbors would care … I should have said if he were only shooting .22 rimfires (they make a quieter popping sound). The .22 rim fires do not keep us from enjoying our property.

    Last Friday I made a recording of him shooting one of the guns that sounds like a .30-06, but it isn’t the fully auto, if anyone would like to hear it.
    The range is on Bloomsberry lane and is directly behind where Crestgate Ln meets Lowergate.

  8. Hey “Shooting Fan” – As an avid shooter myself, I can attest the vast majority of his shooting that is the problem is not 22 rimfire – that can hardly be heard and if that all Dr. Land was firing, it wouldn’t be a problem. A majority of what is the most anoying are the high-powered center fire rounds. I am confidant he is shooting in a safe manner, if not he would have been shut down, and possibly be in jail. The issue is the noise. His “right” to shoot impedes my “right” to the peace of my own property. I feel it is in violation of my rights as a property owner to enjoy my land. The concept of absolute rights isn’t so clear in this case. We all have the right to redress our government, we have the right to assemble, we have the right to believe in the faith of our choice…all of these rights are ones that cost no one else. His right to bear arms I would fight for, his right to shoot in such close proximity I would argue. He only has 6 acres, not sufficient to stop the sound. If he were smart he would have erected a building to house his shooting…that way he could shoot in any weather, but instead he has choosen to shoot seemingly only to spite his neighbors. And to boot, he only has this property to shoot on, he chooses to live somewhere else. Perhaps we should visit his neighborhood with a dozen cars and blast him and his neighbors for 12 hours with gangster rap? As for those who say we knew it was there when we bought, no. Centex did not know, and they didn’t inform us about the range…and the shooting was far less often that it is now. Plus he is in a neighborhood with neighbors in close proximity. Only someone who is conceited, selfish, arrogant and very stupid would do what he does.

  9. Perhaps the other property owners should be upset with their relator and/or developer for not disclosing that there was a shooting range abutting their new home…

    He was there LONG before the subdivision…deal with it! How could Centex have not known? Due diligence…check the tax & zoning maps to see what you’re buying into…

  10. Hell must have just frozen. I am agreeing with Raines?!?!?!

    I hate to point out something, but what was there first? The gun range, or the houses that were developed after the gun range had been there for YEARS!?!?!

    I am not a gun enthusiast at all, but I also support the right to bear arms (even though why does a hunter need to have the right to an AK-47 to hunt deer still boggles my mind).

    I also support the rights to land owners.

    Dr. Land had the property and the gun range there for years before some developer built the houses surrounded it. When you buy a house, it is your responsibility to understand what is surrounding your prospective property, and if you can live with it or not. Nobody forced you to buy the houses next to the gun range.

    This is just like what happened back where my in-laws live. There was a cement plant that had been in operations for close to 30 years. The property around it had been sold off to a developer, who put up condos.

    The people that bought the condos complained that the cement plant left their cars dirty, and the trucks that left the plant caused their car windshields to get pitted.

    They filed a lawsuit and eventually got the cement plant to close.

    Those new condo buyers knew that the plant was there when they bought the condos. They were not forced to buy.

    At the same time, I believe that there is grounds here for some sort of compromise that could be worked out with Dr. Land and the neighbors. As for working out something with Wesley Chapel, that is another story.

  11. Neighbors husband; when this range was opened was it in your vicinity? or did you choose to move there for your peace and quiet? Was it in the county or in the city? If it was there legally and first, I cannot see where you have a complaint.

  12. To: Shooting fan,

    As someone told you, the range is on Bloomsberry Lane, about a half mile from the New Town Elementary School. I have friends on Will Plyler Road that can hear the gunfire, and I have friends on Lester Davis Road, in Hollister, that can hear it. There are people I know off of Cuthbertson Road, in Champion Forest, that can also hear it. We are talking 2-3 miles away these weapons can be heard. As a matter of fact, a friend was at the Harris Teeter in Wesley Chapel this weekend and heard the gunfire there. I assure you we are not exaggerating.

    To: Also a shooting fan,
    I don’t worry about it going through the dirt base. What is very possible are misfires, ricochets off the targets and frame, and bullets that overshoot the backstop from the muzzle rise of the automatic weapons. If one bullet ricochets to the right, it would go straight to Stonegate. If it were to ricochet to the left it could end up at New Town Elementary School. There are no side berms or walls to stop it. Nor are there any ground or overhead baffles. No matter how careful one is, misfires and riccochet do happen at ALL ranges. Michael Land is not the only person shooting at this range. He has no control of other people’s aim. I know he says no bullet has ever left his range. This simply is not true; I personally know someone who heard pistol fire at the range, heard a bullet sail through the air and hit a tree within feet of where he was. He is fortunate he was not hit, and so was Michael Land. That would be hard to live with. This happened because this person was downrange, on another property, and Land did not know it. NO ONE can say with 100% certainty that no bullet has ever left their range. Anyone who does is showing complete arrogance. I agree with Lt. Col. Beekman. The risk is too great, and anyone using this range to shoot, knowing these facts would probably be found reckless.

    What I also worry about are the unsafe practices I, my family, friends and many neighbors have personally witnessed. Shooting from an uncovered firing point, on bare ground in the pouring rain, snow and sleet. Shooting at dusk and after dark without sufficient lighting. On a day the National Weather service declared a Wind Advisory and trees were blown down in our area, there was automatic gunfire coming from this range. Certainly if the wind can blow down a tree, it can move the muzzle of a gun sending a bullet, or a spray of bullets out of the target area. In all these instances, there was no personal contact with people, but danger was there.

    What I worry about is when two ladies on horseback were in visual sight of Michael Land, and made direct eye contact with him, he had no concern for their safety and began firing his weapons. At this point he made a conscious decision to endanger people he knew were there. This behavior shows a complete disregard for other people’s safety, and a selfish love of one’s own pleasure.

  13. The only solution is for the town to buy the homes of all the residents who moved there after his range was built, and have them bulldozed.

    Then everyone’s happy! It’s not like they could sell their homes in this economy anyway.

  14. The whole argument that ‘Dr. Land was here first’ is pure nonsense. Firing lethal weapons as recreation near neighboring families and children is irresponsible and there is no excuse and no assurance of Dr. Land’s ability will prevent an ancient.

    Lets not overlook the fact that Dr. Land’s machine gun license was based a BATF application where he stated he would use the weapon to protect a business. Nowhere on the form did he say he would be using his machine gun in target practice activities.

    There is no business therefore his machine gun license is invalid or should be.

    History is full examples of overly self-confident men who couldn’t see beyond their own pride and a disastrous result occurred.

    It’s time for Dr. Land to pack up his arsenal and enjoy his sport in the safety of a professional indoor range.

  15. Mark; I personally cannot understand why anyone would want a machinegun. That being said,Our constitution does allow it and you cannot infringe on his right to use it by moving in next door, incorporating and writing a new law. It’s called ex post facto.. Let’s move on to a subject that has not already been settled in court.

  16. John,

    I must disagree on a couple of points. The complete text judge’s ruling has not been released, second, this was a lower court decision and an appeal is likely.

    So a ‘settlement’ is far from over.

    It is the responsibility of government to mediate and mandate rules of co-existence. The county failed to protect the neighbors and citizens from a misuse of residential property, either by ignorance or incompetence.

    There is also a question of escalation of use. Dr. Land’s initial use of the property was for the occasional target practice with small caliper weapons that most neighbors would likely tolerate and not complain. But his appetite for exotic weapons has increased, thus the use of his ‘range’ has changed and it is now both objectionable and unsafe.

    Lets not forget that Dr. Land’s range is not his home, it’s property he uses for personal recreation. Property rights do not grant superior rights, especially over safety.

    Finally, I am a firm believer in Murphy’s law, what ever can go wrong, will go wrong. And in Dr. Land’s case, someone could be killed.

  17. Actually, the consitiution does not mention machine gun use. However, this is what NC law says:

    Banks, merchants and recognized business establishments can use the weapons "FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFENDING THE SAID BUSINESS".

    Military, militia and law enforcement can use it when acting in discharge of their OFFICIAL DUTIES. This would be training on duty, war or SWAT team use.

    NC Law also allows those scientists working on machine gun technologies to use it within that context.

    NO WHERE in NC Law does it say you may use a machine gun for pleasure, hobby, recreation or sport.

    There has never been any evidence of a business at the range property, and by Land’s own sworn testimony there is no business name, no business license, never sold a gun and never operated a business there. If there is no business, these weapons are held illegally. That’s called breaking the law, and the constitution does not protect that.

  18. Mr Land got his permit to defend his business, true.

    But is he supposed to never practicing shooting those weapons? Just hope that he can figure it out the first time a crook breaks in the door?

    Who’s to decide whether he is “practicing” his use of legal weapons, or doing it 100% for recreation?

    I’m sure when a license for guns is given by the state, that also means you are allowed to practice shooting it. It does not mean you can never pull the trigger until you are attacked.

    Nice stretch, though, Mark D and “neighbor in danger”

  19. Mr. Raines,

    You are completely missing the point.

    1) Land’s sworn testimony is that he didn’t have a business.

    2) EVEN IF there is a “business” he has 300 guns to chose from. In a residential area is the best choice a machine gun? If an intruder breaks in, a pistol would do just fine. Better yet, a shotgun would stop him dead in his tracks if that’s the goal.

    3) IF an intruder or thief attacks, do you honestly think Land would specifically aim that weapon toward his range, hit the targeted area so that no bullets sprayed into the surrounding community, endangering families on their properties, or school children playing at New Town Elementary? NO, IF this weapon’s purpose to protect a business, then the bullet spray would be directed at the intruder, where ever he/she was. This is a clear danger to the surrounding community.

    4) Machine guns are not very accurate in their fire. If you want to direct a shot at someone, then a pistol or other weapon is much more accurate. Machine guns were developed for war with the purpose of killing as many people as possible in a short period of time so that the military can advance their line. They are not known for accuracy, just for being able to dispense a lot of bullets quickly for maximun kill power.

    It is not a reasonable conclusion to even think this weapon is being used to defend a business. It is being used for sport, hobby and recreaton.

  20. Mr. Raines, I continue to marvel at your ability to stridently take a position, dependent on facts, all the while you completely ignore the facts.

    In Jonestown, they call that ‘drinking the koolaid’.

    Let me ask you a question.

    If you lied about your age when you applied for a drivers license and were discovered, are you entitled to keep your license?

  21. Most folks would recognize that I am a strong supporter of property rights. I am also a strong advocate for personal responsibility. Mr Gimon’s example of an existing cement plant is one thing, a gun range on five +/- acres is quite another. Conditions changed for Dr Land. His property is insufficiently large enough to support the type of weapons he is employing. The lack of overhead baffles and side walls at the firing position, side berms in the impact area, etc make this range questionable at best. I too am a gun enthusiast. Over the past 60 years I have fired everything from .22cal pistols to 300 Weatherby magnum rifles on civilian gun ranges and while hunting game. My military service included firing large caliber hand guns, rifles and machine guns on the ground and 20mm cannons in jet fighters. As Chief of Safety responsible for flight, ground, and weapons safety at a major USAF gunnery range in Europe, I believe I have some credibility on this subject. Once again, read Pat Beekman’s input on this issue.

    Merely because something is legal and permitted does not make the exercise of that right prudent under all conditions. Dr Land’s shooting range is not a cement plant. The owners of the cement plant got shafted. Dr Land’s neighbors are unduly endangered by his hobby.

    The Pig!

  22. Mark D,

    If your mother lied about your country of birth when she applied for a birth certificate, and you were discovered, are you entitled to keep your presidency?

    and to Pierre, you said:

    “Merely because something is legal and permitted does not make the exercise of that right prudent under all conditions.”

    you mean like ETJ and forced annexation? how many time have we seen politicians in every single town in north carolina say that “it is right because it is legal here, end of discussion”

    humbug. as always, politicians hide behind the law when it suits them, and scream in protest when it doesn’t.

  23. Raines,

    Yes, just as ETJ and forced annexation are legal does not necessarily follow that the exercise of those prerogatives are prudent, wise or just. In the first instance it is a restriction on property without representation. In the second case it, among other things, a taxation without consent of the governed. I am opposed to both.

    The Pig

  24. "NO WHERE in NC Law does it say you may use a machine gun for pleasure, hobby, recreation or sport." – Neighbor in Danger

    So what? May the citizens of this state do only those things the government of the state specifically allows them to do?

    If the BATF (the controlling authority on civilian possession and use of fully automatic weapons) has issued a permit to this guy to own and use a fully automatic weapon, then he had better well get it out and practice with it from time to time. Any weapon is useless if it’s owner is not proficient in its use. If he enjoys practicing with it, how is that anyone else’s business?

    I suspect that most of the racket now is just his way of announcing his court victory to those who have vexed him, and perhaps to vex them somewhat in return. It’s too bad that some folks moved into the area without knowing that there was already a range in their midst, but that’s their problem. They have no legal recourse, nor should they.

    There was another course of action open to them, however. They could have gone over and introduced themselves to Dr. Land, gotten to know him, and explained their concerns to him as neighbors. I’ve seen nothing in the coverage of this issue to indicate that any of them ever tried that. If they did, and it failed due to incivility on Land’s part, well at least they tried. It’s a free county, and he has the right to be a jackass if he choses.

    Demanding (in court even!) that your neighbor change his ways when you move into his neighborhood, when you should have known he has the right to do as he pleases on his own property, is a great way to earn your neighbor’s antipathy.

    My suggestion to those discontented neighbors is to get used to the sound of gunfire. It’s not really a bad thing. And if it still bothers you just remember that with the price of ammunition the way it is, every single shot costs him a lot more in cash than it costs you in, well–anything.

  25. Carbine,

    I have to admit if I lived next to Dr. Land’s house, I would be extremely upset- with the person who sold me the house. And most importantly I would be upset with myself for not bothering to check out the neighborhood or ask other residents some basic questions.

    People spend weeks researching which car to buy, but apparently dont think they need to do the same when they buy a house.

    Sad, really.

  26. “If he enjoys practicing with it, how is that anyone else’s business?”

    He made it our business by doing it in a residential area. He chose to site the range in an area that would be filled with homes and families. He did not chose it put in in a properly zoned area. It’s our business because numerous people, very qualified and familiar with guns, machine guns and ranges verify the range and property size are not adequate for these types of weapons.

    I agree, people should practice with their weapons. That is prudent. However, he can’t even take the machine guns to any ranges in our area becasue they not built to have guns of that magnitude fired there. If ranges that are professionally designed and operated, on much larger properties than 5.86 acres, see a liability and danger issue, I assure you there is one at his range. Charlotte Rifle and Pistol has 113 acres and will not allow machine guns there. There was no professional designer, engineer or safety consultant at Land’s range; all things the NRA Range Source Book repeatedly state are necessary.

    It’s our business because it’s our safety. The whole “who was here first” won’t mean squat when someone takes a bullet. Frankly, with the liability and even a remote possibility that a hobby could injure or kill a neighbor, I think this whole discussion is ridiculous.

    It it take court to make our community safe, you bet we will be there.

  27. Raines, you need practice. You are one of the lamest trolls ever. LMAO. Epic phail, if you ask me.

    Carbine, how does one introduce oneself to a guy on a personal firing range? Are you kidding or just that oblivious? Bang. Bang. Boom. Rat-a-tat-tat-tat. Hmm, I should go over and introduce myself. Another epic phail. Dr. Land has NOT filed suit that I am aware of the force Weddington to allow the same gun use in his community that Wesley Chapel is attempting to prevent. Hypocrite or neanderthal? Po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to.

    The Constitution guarantees our right to bear arms. It says NOTHING about the use of them. Perhaps we should study English a bit more before blindly clinging to a challengeable interpretation of some written words. You can easily argue that the Founders were very concerned about the government depriving the citizenry of the means to defend themselves, especially in the case of the government. This hardly is designed to protect some crackpot from firing non-.22 weaponry. I will defend Dr. Land’s right to bear arms, but his use of them is highly questionable.

    And Dr. Land needs a machine gun to defend his OB/BYN practice? Epic phail!

    And, finally, there is NOTHING in property maps or zoning that would imply there is a recreational firing range in this location. Check the UC GIS and prove to me that information, even today, is available to citizens. Show me and I’ll admit my error. Include links, please.

    Time to get out my troll gun. Raines, stand still!

  28. Land is shooting on a dangerous few acres… around five acres if I’m correct. That is the BIG problem regarding safety and noise. The neighbors should take this to a higher court. Land cares NOTHING about being a good neighbor. He doesn’t even live on that property. Its now pure EGO and pats on the back from NRA radicals ( not all members of NRA are radicals – lets make that clear) that feed his madness. What about his code to "Do No Harm" as a Doctor? He use to delivered babies. Does he not have a clue how unnerving this would be for an infant to have to try and sleep through rounds of machine gun fire? How about little children who have the right to grow up in a country where they don’t have hear machine guns firing while they are taking their naps?

    Can anyone come on his property and shoot his machine gun, even if they don’t have training? I would be very worried about this. What if Land had a heart attack or stroke or dropped his weapon while he was firing his machine gun? He or someone else is an accident waiting to happen!

    Dr. Evil should move on and get a LOT more land to shoot on. Shooting on 5 acres with a machine gun is ridiculous. That’s like a swimmer trying to train for the olympics in a kiddie pool.

  29. Polly,

    you said:

    "What if Land had a heart attack or stroke or dropped his weapon while he was firing his machine gun? He or someone else is an accident waiting to happen!"

    What if you had a heart attack or stroke while you are driving your car down the road? You might plow into another car and kill innocent children.

    In fact, anyone could have a heart attack or stroke while driving a car. Clearly the only solution is to ban the use of automobiles. Won’t somebody think of the children??


  30. Annoyedbyspam,

    you said:

    “The Constitution guarantees our right to bear arms. It says NOTHING about the use of them.”

    So you’re recommending that if someone breaks into my house, I can bear arms, but since the constitution doesn’t bring up specific issues of using them, all I can do is stand there bearing the arms, and hope the other guy runs away?


  31. Many years ago a man broke into a Quakers home in the middle of the night. Now we all know quakers are pacifist, so what was he to do? He solved this delimna by taking his blunderbuss from over the mantle, pointing it at theman and saying “Pardon me sir, but you are standing where I am about to shoot!”

  32. "He made it our business by doing it in a residential area. He chose to site the range in an area that would be filled with homes and families." – Neighbor in Danger

    Pardon me if I’ve been misinformed, but I understand that when Dr. Land sited his range it was not in a residential area filled with homes and families. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

    I’m sorry that you and the others who have moved into that area are displeased with pre-existing conditions there. I understand that you didn’t know, when you bought your house, that there was a live-fire range operating nearby. But your solution, that Dr. Land give up his right to do as he pleases on his own property because you and a few others screwed up and bought a house without knowing everything you should have about the area, is ridiculous. Someone has to lose here, and I say it should be you and the newcomers, not him.

    And "Annoyedbyspam," I’m very sorry that you can not figure out how to introduce yourself to another human being on a shooting range. It’s really not that hard; there are but few rules: approach from the rear, announce yourself clearly during a lull in the firing, do not wander downrange, do not wear a target for a hat…it’s really mostly common sense.

  33. Pierre,

    Thank you for pointing out the differences in my statement.

    The point I was trying to make was that they moved there after the gun range was already in place.

    But, I also stated that I believe a comprimise between all parties needs to be in place very soon, so that the situation does not get out of hand. Or has it already?

    Regardless, you are correct, there is a difference between a piece of cement and a bullet.

    Working in Project Management for IT, you always need to work out a comprimise with all parties. It is not so hard to do so here. Dr. Land has taken this position because he feels as if he was forced into it. The homeowners have taken their position because they have the best interest in their families at heart. And Wesley Chapel…..Unknown where their interest lie, whether for the good of the public or for themselves.

    There is soooo much room on either side to give and take.

  34. I do not see where the give and take is. The WCBOA took him to court and lost, their lawyer will tell them they will lose on constitutional grounds if they appeal. The only solution they might arrange at this point is finiancial and that would no doubt be prohibitive.

  35. John,
    I am curious. What happens if a bullet from Mr. Land’s property hits and kills someone while they are standing on their own property minding their own business. Is anyone legally at fault? Can anyone be charged? Interesting question…I’d love to hear your response and anyone else with an informed opinion. Thanks!

  36. I am not a lawyer but ,in my opinion, yes he would be liable at least in a civil action. A criminal charge would probably be up to the DA, depending on the seriousness of the injury involved. As I said, I am not an attorney…

  37. Mr. Gimon,

    The answer as to what wesley chapel elected officials are thinking is simple- Dr. Land is simply one person. He can be outvoted by all of his surrounding residents.

    Thus the politicians will always, and i mean ALWAYS pander to the greater number of potential voters. There are no exceptions to this rule. Professional politicians have no regards for ethics or morality, only getting votes to continue their career. Politics is often referred to as “Hollywood for unattractive people” and that is so, so, true.”

    Being re-elected is all that matters because it lets them live out their fantasy of actually having power in life, while most of them (at least on the local level) still have actual jobs where they have bosses and get pushed around. Their biggest thrill of the month is town meetings where THEY are in control.

  38. Is his range fenced?

  39. From 1991 until approx. Sept./ Oct. 2008 ( 17 years) the range was NOT fenced, nor were signs posted.

    Right before the Board of Adjustment hearing barbed wire strands were placed around the property and the signs added. There is a waist high picket fence across the driveway.

    I would also like to clear up some inaccurate facts that were testified to in the Board of Adjustment hearing. Land testified that Bill McGuirt, attorney for law enforcement, had been to his range before all the reconstruction took place. That is true. In the fall of 2007, Bill McGuirt and Sheriff Cathey visited the range. Land testified twice that Mr. McGuirt said the range was safe as it was prior to all the reconstruction. This is a totally inaccurate statement.

    In an email to school officials and neighbors, Mr. McGuirt had the following to say about the safety of the range:

    “I am very knowledgeable about construction and safety issues for firing ranges…….Personally, I do have some safety concerns about the range. It is not one that I would allow my family to use in light of the proximitiy to other homes and the current construction of the range, ESPECIALLY WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS.” (caps. from me)

    The sheriff’s dept. apparently decided, that even if the range posed a safety threat to the surrounding families, since no laws were being broken, they would allow automatic gunfire to continue to endanger the surrounding families. This is inexcusable.

    Mr. McGuirt was at the Board of Adjustment hearing and personally witnessed Mr. Land’s testimony, stating that McGuirt thought the range was safe. No one from the Sheriff’s office ever opted to correct the record.

    It is interesting to note that it was after this 2007 visit to the unimproved range by the sheriff and attorney that the range was completely rehauled to a total of $15,000.

  40. “The sheriff’s dept. apparently decided, that even if the range posed a safety threat to the surrounding families, since no laws were being broken, they would allow automatic gunfire to continue to endanger the surrounding families. This is inexcusable.” – Neighbor in Danger

    “Neighbor,” I’m not a lawyer; perhaps you are. If so, please cite the law that gives the Sheriff’s Office the authority to force someone to stop doing a legal activity on his or her own property when no laws are being broken? Also, please explain what such a person would be charged with if the person continued to do the activity in question.

  41. Carbine,

    I can only quote to you what the Attorney General’s office publication on NC Firearms Law says:

    “Therefore, certain conditions must be met by the possessor of a machine gun before it may be lawfully kept in North Carolina. First, the possessor must fall within one of the specifically listed exceptions to the general prohitibion of ownership. Second, one must also apply for a permit to possess the weapon from the sheriff. It is then the responsibility of the sheriff to satisify himself/herself as to the lawfulness of the reason for such possession, and of the good moral character of the possessor. AMONG OTHER CONSIDERATIONS, THE SHERIFF SHOULD CONSIDER THE INHERENT DANGER TO THE PUBLIC AS A RESULT OF THE POSSESSION OF A MACHINE GUN.”

    “It has been consistently held within our office that the valid licensing of an individual to possess a machine gun under federal law does not automatically legitimize his or her possession of the weapon in the various counties of North Carolina. Nor does such federal licensing require the sheriff to issue a permit for the possession of such a weapon without first satisying the prerequisites of NCGS 14-409. Therefore, the permit provisions of 14-409 would need to be complied with, even though a person is currently licensed under federal law to possess a machine gun.”

    According to the Attorney General’s office, the sheriff has several responsibilities to meet before issuing permits for machine guns. 1) verify there is really a lawful reason to own/use the gun 2) do a background check to be sure there is no history of violence, domestic abuse, mental illness etc (good moral character), 3) CONSIDER THE INHERENT DANGER TO THE PUBLIC.

    The sheriff saw the range in 2007, not before. By Land’s sworn testimony he had never talked to the sheriff until the fall of 2007, but the permit was issued in 2004. The Sheriff’s attorney stated in an email he was knowledgable in range safety/construction. He said he had concerns with safety, constructon, proximity to homes, ESPECIALLY WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. Despite this, the machine gunfire as allowed to contiue. I don’t know how much clearer it could be that no consideration was given to the inherent danger of the public.

    To add insult to injury, there have been hundreds of calls into the sheriff’s department about this range over the many years it has been in operation. Numerous families were told over those years that the range was safe. For many, many years machine gun fire was heard coming from this range. The people of this community knew it could not be safe to have machine gun fire in a residential area, yet they were told it was safe. According to the email by Mr. McGuirt, it appears that may not have been the case. Now we find out that at least the attorney for law enforcement did have safety concerns.

    Personally, I would like to know the steps taken before the permits was issued by our Union County Sheriffs.

    1) How did they VERIFY there was a business? Is there actually any concrete evidence? Any paperwork?

    2) Was there any background check done by the sheriff’s dept?

    3) What steps were taken to consider if the use of a machine gun in a residential area posed any danger to the surrounding community and families?

    I would appear that one or more of the responsibilities set forth by the Attorney General’s office were not carried out.

  42. Neighbor in Danger,

    Why don’t you just come out and admit that you were the lead attorney trying to prosecute Dr. Land? It couldn’t be more obvious.

  43. Mr. Raines,

    I assure you I am not an attorney; I wish I were. I am a very concerned member of this community. All the information I have found has been located on Google. It’s amazing what the average person can find if they just do a little research.

  44. “Neighbor in Danger,” I would suggest that you ignore Raines’ childish scribbles on this blog. He’s the cyber equivalent of the desheveled shirtless guy muttering loudly to himself in the park. In his mind, he knows exactly what’s in yours and everyone elses’.

    It seems from your quotes that the Sheriff may have had the authority to deny Dr. Land a permit to possess a machine gun, but did not do so. However, a few points are still unclear. In 2004, when you say the permit was issued, didn’t we have a different sheriff? As I recall the current sheriff was elected that year or in 2006, so I would not be surprised that our current sheriff would not have inspected the range before 2007, by which time the permit would have already been issued.

    Secondly, does the source you cite say anything about a sheriff’s authority to rescind a permit that has already been issued?

    Finally, read again this line from your source: “It has been consistently held within our office…” As I said before I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that what that line says is that the NC Attorney General’s office BELIEVES that federal licensing does not override state or local authority’s right to deny a machine gun permit. I would be interested in knowing if there has been a court case in which a local government tried to deny a citizen who had been issued a federal machine gun permit the right to obtain one.

  45. There are many households endangered by Land’s firing range that are not residents of Stonegate. Many of us were here long before Land. He has denied us our property rights–what are we–chopped liver?

  46. Carbine,

    According to court documents, the sheriff who signed the 2004 machine gun permit is our current sheriff. As far as the machine gun permits issued by prior sheriff(s), the current sheiff should be aware of them, as NC classifies machine guns as weapons of mass death and destruction, and NC sheriffs are required by law to issue a separate permit to possess them. You would hope our chief law enforcement official would be aware of who possesses WMDs in Union County, and where those WMDs are.

    I do not know if the Sheriff has any power to take back the machine gun permit he issued, but that could be easily researched. I do know that the sheriff has a wide latitude in his power.

    However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume there are no powers given to the sheriff that would allow him to take back the permit he issued. A sheriff provides a permit based on facts given by the applicant. Let’s say that later the sheriff discovers the information provided is in error. If that erroneous information leads to the machine gun being possessed illegally, I would suppose it is the DUTY of the sheriff to report that illegality to the ATF so that they could take the correct action. According to the actual machine gun permit issued by the ATF, they can not even issue a permit for a machine gun if it would violate any federal, state or local laws. (see 26 U.S.C. sec. 5812 (a)(6)) It is my understanding that the ATF does have the authority to take back their permits and confiscate the illegally held weapons.

    Futhermore, if the Sheriff discovers the applicant intentionally misled authorities in order to illegally obtain a machine gun, the Sheriff could also pursue other avenues regarding lying to obtain a machine gun.

    What is so disturbing about this particular case is that Land testified twice, under oath, that a member of the sheriff’s department virtually coached him in 1996 and 2004 what reason he could use for possessing a machine gun. (being a doctor, and asking him to get a curios and relics license that was erroneously thought to cover as a business) If the official had to give suggestions to Land, that would indicate the reasons Land initially gave them (collecting, sport shooting and investments) did not entitle him to legally own a machine gun.

    Bottom line, in NC it is clear that issuing a federal permit for a machine gun does not automatically entitle anyone in NC to possess a machine gun. NC has two separate statutes regarding machine guns. One classifies them as weapons of mass death and destruction and restricts possession (NCGS 14-288.8). The second restricts activities involving machine guns, including possession, ownership and use (NCGS 14-409). 14-409 states that in addition to the ATF permit, the applicant must also get a permit from the sheriff in the county the gun is held. It further lists a very limited number of lawful reasons to possess and use a machine gun. Our law is clear. What’s cloudy is the way it has been allowed to be interpreted in Union County.

  47. I am appalled at the general attitude and the journalistic irresponsibility with which this “article”, and I use this term very very loosely, was written. An american citizen’s rights were in danger and the story concentrates on the noise. Funny. This is why our rights are being taken more quickly now than at any point before.

    You see, my mislead group of self-centered socialists, the “blunt” law not only protects the weak and cowardly, but all americans. From what I understand, the range was there before the neighborhood. So, I would only imagine that the problem is not Dr. Land’s.

    Have a good day. RPC

  48. I understand he brought in a NRA inspector to the range first and the they said it was the safest designed ranges they had ever seen. I have heard the details of the backstops and would have to agree. I imagine he is shooting a lot now, after being denied his right to do so for so long. FYI, I own a 50BMG rifle and pay $3-7 per round for ammo. I’m not sure what machine guns he owns other than the 22lr, but I assume a M16 (.223) and Thompson (45acp) from the posts here which have a similar ammo cost (~$.40/round). I have a M16, at at current prices a 30rd magazine dumps causes ~3seconds of noise and costs me $13. If the posts about machine gun fire all day are true it can only last long spening $20,000 plus per day on ammo.

    Machine Guns are legal and ranges are granfathered in, if you don’t like it should not have bought/built a house beside a range. 5 Acres is more then enough for a range. Within the last week I have shot at two smaller government owned ranges; at a LE owned range that was on 2 acres, and on the range on a Community College that probably less than a quarter of an arce and located on campus beside classrooms. Both had backstops a tiny fraction of the size of what has been reported to have at this range in question.

    Maybe after the local government repays all of his court costs they should offer to relocate his range, buy him land further out and setup the range, offer to trade.

  49. Gun rights and property rights aside. I don’t care about noise. And I don’t a flying flip who was here first.

    You have just missed the whole blooming point.

    No Business to protect, no legal reason to own machine guns. That’s a FELONY. If you don’t think that’s a problem, keep drinking the koolaid you’re drinking.

    There hasn’t been any credible evidence to prove he has a busines. In fact, he said he has no business name, no business license, no sales and no aquisition. That’s HIS SWORN TESTIMONY. He has also granted numerous interviews with the press where he talks about his hobby. He has never stated he uses the machine guns to defend a business.

    This is not about your 2nd admendment rights. It’s about breaking the law. Don’t give other law abiding gun owners a bad reputation by lumping them into this issue. Most are law abiding citizens, who use common sense in firing their weapons. Many are disgusted at the way this issue portrays gun owners.

  50. I realize many of you are upset because you feel your property values are going down as a result of a firing range near your property. I am sure the motivating factor in your case is not safety nor noise, but home values and your ability to re-sale. The court has decided that he may start to re-use his private firing range again. Contrary to many of your pseudo legal opinions, the court system found in HIS favor so get over it. Have any of you seen the machine guns in question and are you sure they are not semi-automatic weapons. A semi-automatic weapon can be fired making it sound like a “machine gun” when in fact it is not ie. see “bump firing” on you tube. His range was there before you, you should be fighting for his right to continue to use it, not try to take away his civil liberties. The NRA inspector says the range is very safe. I bet you went after him feeling you all had the upper hand and could legislate anything you wished. Now maybe he should legislate a law banning you from being in your homes distrubing his rifle fire. I bet if you had just talked to him like adults, he would have worked out a resolution.

  51. The NRA’s inspector did approve the range. It’s hard to know which NRA to believe; the one paid by the owner to approve his range, or the NRA Range Source Book that states for an open air range, “The 30-06 (boattail) bullet,weight of 172 grains, muzzle velocity of 2,600 feet per second has been added to the chart and is shown to have a range of 5,500 yards or 3.12 miles.
    This range is generally used during a site evaluation to determine if the site is large enough to accommodate a highpower rifle range.”

    The range on Land’s property occupies approx. 2/3 of his property, according to his testimony. Therefore only 4 acres is actually the range. There is approx. 100 – 150 feet behind the range before his property ends. I don’t think that is anywhere close to the 3.12 miles required by the NRA in it’s range source book.

    According to the Third National Shooting Range Synposium, Design Criteria for Shooting Ranges, “If you build in a populated area, your range must be totally baffled” yet the NRA report does not report any baffles being present.

    According to the National Association of Shooting Ranges, Baffles, Berms and Backstops, it says,” Erecting berms, backstops and baffles may be an optional construction for range owners/operators who control 1.5 miles downrange for a pistol or 3.5 miles downrange for highpowered rifles, with appropriate left and right ricochet safety zones.

    Again, the NRA report does not mention any ricochet safety zones, or baffles. Nor does it mention any side walls or side berms. It does not even mention to most basic range design principle of surface danger zone, or safety fan. A report that omits all these crucial items is questionable at best.

    According to every source I can find, including people who know guns, Lt. Col. Patrick Beekman, and Pierre Le Cochon who both have shared their expertise and opinion on this site, the range is not safe. Just because you pay someone to write you a report, doesn’t mean it’s accurate. Check the facts yourself by doing a little research.

    As far as machine guns being legal in NC, that is true if you fall into one of the very few exemptions for prohibition of use/possession that are clearly listed in 14-409. If not, your guns are illegal. PERIOD.

    If the ranges you shot at on just a few acres were not professionally designed, and are not completely baffled, they are not safe. Since there is no body regulating ranges, anyone can build anything. It doesn’t make it safe.

  52. He has machine guns, that is not in question. He has been pretty open that he bought the property years ago to shoot his machine guns away from town, construction followed him to the place he setup. The same people would have the same problem if he only shot his semi-autos or single shots though. Machine gun fire is not as bad, its over really quick instead of spread out. From a noise perspective I would rather a local range deplete their ammo quickly.

    “Range” requirements, zoning, inspections, etc apply to public ranges in NC. In most counties in NC you can target/practice shoot on any land that is more than 50yds from a dwelling (the rules in my county). When he set it up, he did not even have to have backstops, you are just personally responisble for where your rounds land. He was lucky he did create it as a “range” which allowed him to be grandfathered in from any and all local ordinances.

    Everyone I know in NC uses their machine guns only for practice/target shooting, fun at the range, not for “business” use.

    Not sure why machine guns are even being discussed, they have nothing to do with the legal right to shoot or have a range.

  53. To Mark D
    You have no business writing for any paper if you can not write an article without being bias and prejudice towards the subject.

  54. Teamglock2002,

    Thanks for posting your opinion.

    In reply, may I draw your attention to the masthead of the Village Scribe.

    ‘Commentary and Opinion’ is what I write and yes I have a bias.

  55. “Neighbor in Danger,” it seems to me that your main beef should be with the sheriff’s office for failing to enforce the law as you think it should be. Why don’t you go see him about that? I bet if you came prepared with your arguements and supporting documents you would at least get a fair hearing. At worst by the time you left you would know why he can’t legally proceed as you would like.

  56. He was there first. Case closed.

  57. Neil Gimon: 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with deer hunting.

  58. Neighbor in danger. You are mislead yet again. It is perfectly legal for Dr. Land to own automatic weapons so long as they were, or certain parts of them were manufactured and listed as transferrable before a certain date in the 80’s by federal law. Do you think he would be spouting off about his autos if they were illegal. Good Lord. The ignorance of the law which you continue to display concretes my position. You are out of bounds. Your opinions are based on things you don’t know and you have missed you guess.What are you in danger of? How is it not a question of who was there first?

    You people are like the winners that moved into the new high-rise condos in Raleigh which were built right beside the train tracks which had been there for about 100 years, and complained to the town about the noise and actually expect them to do something about it. This is unreasonable.

    You have missed the boat. This is absolutely about his rights and YOUR rights. This is about what is right by the law under which you so readily bow. Please government, save me from the noises, save me from myself, save me from danger, and fear…Save me, save me, save me.


    Hold on…got to go. Someone did something I can hear from my house. Need to raise cain….

  59. Why would someone move next to a range and then bitch about it?

  60. Kool-aid-man,

    Here, here!

  61. As I have previously stated, I am not a lawyer. I am a journeyman machinist however. Two things you should knowabout automatic weapons: 1) any semi- automatic weapon can be converted to full automatic by a competant machist in a short period of tim (before some of you ask, no I will not do that or teach you how!) 2) “machine guns” must be self actuated I.E.: pull the trigger and more than one shot fires. A “gatling gun therefore does not meet the regulation because you must twist the crank for each bullet fired. Therefore Dr. Land (or anyone else for that matter) could own such a weapon (Mfg, before 1895) and fire it without registering it.

  62. mr barker,

    that is simply not true. you cannot convert any semi-auto weapon into a fully automatic weapon by a machinist. there are several methods for making automatic weapons function correctly, many of which involve gas discharge as a means to move the empty cartridge out of the way and reload the next round.

    in fact, there are practically no automatic weapons that i’ve ever heard of that just use a spring mechanism for loading the next shell. they would jam within then first 5 rounds.

    now there are certain weapons, such as “civilian” versions of the the m-16, that are designed from the ground up to be automatic, but crippled on purpose for civilian use, which can be easily change from semi to full auto.

  63. I feel like such a dope. Maybe all you gun enthuasists can clear up a couple of things for my misinformed, ignorant mind. I am not above learning new things.

    1) Are there any Organized, Sponsored machine gun shoots or competitions in North Carolina held at at public ranges? If so where, when, who sponsors.

    2) Mr. Smith, you said, ““Range” requirements, zoning, inspections, etc apply to public ranges in NC.” Thank you for calling that to my attention. Could you guide me to those requirements, and tell me who is in charge of enforcing those requirements. It seems I have been mistaken.

  64. Clearly noise must be the issue. If it is true that “…The .22 rim fires do not keep us from enjoying our property.” (from a previous post) then worry that a round may sail into the neighborhood isn’t the problem.

    I think it would only be sporting for the HOA to purchase silencers for all the non-.22 weapons (I mean he already has a class 3 license, why not?) that Dr. Land owns.

    If he always had the suppressors and was shooting select-fire weapons all day and night, and no one heard it, who you even have cared?

  65. Again, Michael Land was NOT here first.

    MANY of us have had our property rights infringed upon by ONE selfish man. There are MANY people who have been in this community MANY years longer than Land. Where are our property rights? Are we chopped liver?

    Land was NOT here first.

  66. Did anyone find any organized, sponsored machine gun shoots in NC? Any competitons?

    I could not find evidence of either. As a matter of fact, in Land’s testimony he stated he goes to VA and KY to do these, and I found some in FL and IN. But none in NC. Wonder why? Could it be that these organizers know the true law and realize that shooting these weapons for sport, hobby and recreation is not an allowed use under NC’s MACHINE GUN STATUTE?

    Land’s testimony also said he could not fire these guns at any public range around here. The closest place he can do it is in a National Forest firing range. I can only deduct that since it’s a National Forest, national laws prevail and NC’s machine gun statute would not apply. Then the only other place he mentioned in NC was at a National Guard facility. This facility would fall under the 14-409 exception of the Militia, for training.

    It appears many people who own machine guns here and use them here in NC, do so illegally, but with the knowledge and approval of their local sheriff. It is sad, but it appears that many sheriff’s don’t know the law, either, or turn their heads the other way. It also appears that many fire the weapons at small, privately owned ranges, but not at the established, public ranges that are much easier to inspect and are dependent on the income the range provides.


    14-409. Machine guns and other like weapons.

    (a) As used in this section, “machine gun” or “submachine gun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot,
    automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

    The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a
    machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.


    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to manufacture, sell, give away, dispose of, use or possess machine guns, submachine guns, or other like weapons as defined by subsection (a) of this section: Provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to the following:


    Banks, merchants, and recognized business establishments for use in their respective places of business, who shall first apply to and receive from the sheriff of the county in which said business is located, a permit to possess the said weapons for the purpose of defending the said business;


    officers and soldiers of the United States Army, when in
    discharge of their official duties,


    officers and soldiers of the militia when called into actual service,


    officers of the State, or of any county, city or town, charged with the execution of the laws of the State, when acting in the discharge of their official duties;


    the manufacture, use or possession of such weapons for scientific or experimental purposes when such manufacture, use or possession is lawful under federal laws and the weapon is registered with a federal agency, and when a permit to manufacture, use or possess the weapon is issued by the sheriff of the county in which the weapon is located.


    Provided, further, that any bona fide resident of this State who now owns a machine gun used in former wars, as a relic or souvenir, may retain and keep same as his or her property without violating the provisions of this section upon his reporting said ownership to the
    sheriff of the county in which said person lives.


    (c) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class I felony.




  67. Chopped liver. You may have a point there. Unfortunately, you have no legal recourse. You must have been there before the ordinances and whatnot that affected Mr Land’s ability to continue using his land. The fact is that Dr. Land, whether he is being discourteous or not, had and still has the right to use his land as he saw fit from the beginning. Ranges such as his were grandfathered in and protected under law.

    Neighbor in Danger…I do not know of any organized machine gun shoots in NC. There are several across the country including the large event at Knob Creek KY. There are machine gun competitions in Butner near Durham, at the National Guard Range there but I think they are military matches. Civilian matches are held there all the time but I can’t find any civilian machine gun matches/shoots.

    How is an automatic rifle any more dangerous to you than a rifle which is semi-auto or even bolt operated?

  68. Koolaid,

    Thank you for the information. Do you know what type of weapons are used in the civilian matches?

    You ask how a machine gun is more dangerous, and I can say that more bullets come out at one trigger pull, so obviously the danger increases. Is a bullet from a pistol more dangerous than a bullet from a machine gun? Well I guess the caliber would have more to do with danger than whether it’s a machine gun or regular weapon. Having said that, the AMOUNT of bullets coming from the machine gun spray is more deadly than a single trigger pull. If there is a poor aim, more bullets can leave the range at a time.

    Accidents happen at all ranges. The danger from a machine gun accident has the potential to be more dangerous because more bullets can be discharged with ease.

    None of this matters. The NC legislature passed a machine gun statute that regulates these guns, and also decided to classify them as WMDs. They set the standard for us as citizens of NC.

  69. Triad Action Shooters klub has a Machine Gun Shoot Every 3rd Saturday of the Month in Trinity NC open to the public to watch and participate if you own a machine gun.Yes the neighbors complain about the noise,yes the sheriff’s office is called each time and they come out look at all the proper range permits and says yes you are within your legal right to shoot here.

  70. TeamGlock 2002,

    Is the machine gun shoot at the Triad Action Shooters Klub sponsored by an organization or Merchant, or it is a small club that puts it on by themselves? Just curious.

  71. Neighbor in Danger,

    Your arguement has nothing to do with zoning. If you feel NC law is being violated take the complant to local LE.

    “the manufacture, use or possession of such weapons for scientific or experimental purposes when such manufacture, use or possession is lawful under federal laws and the weapon is registered with a federal agency, and when a permit to manufacture, use or possess the weapon is issued by the sheriff of the county in which the weapon is located. ”

    Machine guns are legal to own in shoot in NC. When you shoot at a range you are “experimenting”. If you disagree that is fine. Every law enforcement agency in the state of North Carolina disagrees with your opinion, which is why sign off on the purchases.

    If they actually make an arrest over this it will be first time its ever happened in the state of North Carolina, if they get Court to rule that range shooting is not experimenting it will in fact be a shift in the law how it is viewed/enforced as of today. If that is the case I’m sure the state legislature will correct it to make it more clear that owning/shooting machine guns in NC is legal.

    Machine Guns are allowed on some ranges, it just varies with range policies, some decline based on safety concerns, noise, others b/c they are managed by a group of hunters or target shooters. The fact that there are less machine gun events has nothing to do with NC laws, as machine guns are perfectly legal in NC, but its b/c there are very few people that have them, average price is ~$15k, there is just not demand. Events are for competition anyways, and MGs are more for “fun”.

  72. `Neighbor,

    R. Smith is certainly correct with his comments.

    Generally, for competition and matches, any number of firearms are permitted based on classes or shooter and gun. There are classes of competition called “Service Rifle” for rifles like the Ar15, M14/M1A, and M1 Garand, all of which are military derivatives and or direct military rifles. These are not automatics but 2, the AR and M-14, are directly related to their automatic counterparts. As R. Smith said, automatics are certainly for fun and for collectors. Personally, fresh off a wedding, I am having a little trouble raising the $7000 needed to purchase one of these pieces. And, if my wife found out i spent that much of my hard earned money on a lower receiver, she would leave me.

    Your feelings on the dangers associated with automatic weapons are certainly based on things that are true. They do release more rounds in a given period of time. In some cases, they are more difficult to control. But, with any firearm, the first line of safety is the vigilance and personal responsibility of the shooter. The same is true, and forgive my broad spectrum comparisons, with other facets of daily life. Driving, for instance, kills more people by a factor of 10 than accidental shootings. If you only look at deaths involving automatic weapons and deaths involving the irresponsible use of vehicles, drunk driving, driving w/o a license, wreckless etc, the comparison is almost unusable. The number of DUI deaths last year was just under 13,000. Accidental automatic weapon fatalities are less than 5 and may be a little as 1 very unfortunate incident which occurred at a machine gun event. It was a direct result of irresponsibility and the victim was also the shooter. The same can be said for anything really. Fortunately, for your safety and the safety of those around you, Dr. Land is a responsible gun owner.

    The reason I wanted to compare it to driving is to show that if the safety of every citizen was the responsibility of local government, driving, flying, dirt bikes, jogging, going outside in the summer, and showering during a thunderstorm would all be illegal.

    Something to think about: “If the second amendment was as liberally interpreted as the first amendment, we’d all have nukes.”

  73. I wish I could remember the soviet general’s name who said it would be impossible to invade the USA, not because of the military but because the citizens were so well armed. I live in the county and we have a great sherrif’s department but the time it takes to get to my house could cost my families lives. I do not want to own a machine gun, but I’ll keep my deer rifle thank you.

  74. Some call it "annoying noise"…

    … I call it "The sounds of freedom"

    Doc, I’d be more than happy to create some of that "freedom sound", just list where!

  75. Sci`en*tif"ic\, a. [F. scientifique; L. scientia science + facere to make.]

    1. Of or pertaining to science; used in science; as, scientific principles; scientific apparatus; scientific observations.

    2. Agreeing with, or depending on, the rules or principles of science; as, a scientific classification; a scientific arrangement of fossils.

    3. Having a knowledge of science, or of a science; evincing science or systematic knowledge; as, a scientific chemist; a scientific reasoner; a scientific argument.

    EXPERIMENTAL –adjective 1. pertaining to, derived from, or founded on experiment: an experimental science.
    2. of the nature of an experiment; tentative: The new program is still in an experimental stage.
    3. functioning as an experiment or used for experimentation: an experimental airplane.
    4. based on or derived from experience; empirical: experimental knowledge.

    –noun 5. something that is experimental.

    Unless you are registered or associated with an agency that is granted permission by the government to do research or further the research into the SCIENCE of machine guns, or a company that is known to experiment with the weapons for the government, I seriously doubt any judge would take your assertion seriously that you were using the guns for scientific or experimental purposes. I hope you have a ledger full of experimental formulas, graphs, charts, data.

    Your last comment says it all. "Events are more for competition anyways, and MGs are more for "fun". Fun is recreation… you just made my point. Thanks.

  76. mr barker,

    a deer hunting rifle is really a terrible choice for home protection.

    a much better choice is a 20 gauge shotgun with a short stock and the shortest barrel you can find. i would not want to try and negotiate my house with a long rifle in dim light.

    all you need to do is aim in the general direction of the intruder, and your small shot is not going to go through 5 walls and kill your child sleeping at the other end of the house, or more likely someone in the house a block away from yours!

  77. Neighbor in Danger,

    Under your definition of “science” Galileo would not have been allowed to point his little telescope up into the sky.

    After all, something can’t be science or an experiment unless a government agency gives it their royal stamp of approval! 🙄

  78. Tell me how safe, it is for Dr. Land to be shooting in the dark tonight at 9:10 pm with a very loud firearm?
    It’s unbelievable how rude he is to his neighbors.

  79. Neighbor,

    I would highly suggest that you get your facts straight before making false accusations! My husband is at home with me at our primary residence in Weddington……HE IS NOT AT OUR HOUSE IN WESLEY CHAPEL WHERE THE SHOOTING RANGE IS LOCATED!! So, dear Neighbor….I have no clue as to what you are hearing and who might be making the noise to which you are referring, but I can assure you that it’s NOT Dr. Michael Land. I must also say that for a while now, I have followed the posts on this blog and am sickened by the lies that have been told about him by many of you …..one neighbor in particular. Stories of bullets leaving our property and of my husband shooting while ladies are riding horseback nearby are absolute lies. The shooting range is safe and my husband is not the evil monster many of you are making him out to be. I would ask that you cease with the insults immediately.

    To our “concerned” Bloomsberry Lane neighbors….FYI..my husband has now left to investigate the noise which is more than likely someone setting off fireworks!!

  80. Absolutely no gunfire from Dr. Land’s range anytime today 7-1-09 illegal fireworks being fired from across the creek from a Stonegate residence-Union Co. Sheriff’s office report filed!!

  81. Mrs. Land,
    I do not think your husband is an evil monster, but I do think he is not a good neighbor. Perhaps you are not aware of the distress caused to the neighbors when your husband shoots. The noise from the machine guns is so deafening, we can’t stay outside. My deck as well as the floors in my house shake. I could not have a graduation party for my son, because I didn’t know when the shooting would start. A friend is reluctant to allow her boys to play here because of safety concerns. Whether her concerns are valid or not is irrelevant, it’s the perception. The noise from the range is so loud; it can be heard by the other person when I’m on the telephone. I suppose I could set up speakers on my property and blast music loud enough to shake the floors at your home, after all, it’s my property and my right to use it as I see fit. Yet, I wouldn’t do that because I’m a considerate neighbor. I’m simply asking your husband to be considerate and courteous to his neighbors.

  82. I called the Union County Sheriff’s Department this morning (7/2) to inquire if a police report was filed regarding fireworks in the area on July 1. According to the officer, no such police report was filed. Perhaps you could provide more information to back up your allegations.

  83. I called the Union Co. Sheriff’s office at approximately 2200 hours to report the blasts coming from the creek area/ Stonegate. The officer made a note in the log of the report-he asked if an officer were needed then and I said no because no further disturbance had been noted. He assured me he would make a notation and record of the report.

  84. The pattern of the noise was that of gunfire, not of fireworks.

  85. Mrs. Land
    “I would ask that you cease with the insults immediately.”
    This statement of yours shows how arrogant and oblivious you BOTH are.
    People will stop with the insults when your husband stops being inconsiderate and starts thinking of someone other than himself.
    Stop the shooting and the insults will stop.

  86. WOW- 😯 I am amazed at the post here. People move into an area and then blame the neighbor for their own ignorance. Did you not check the neighborhood before you purchased there? Your complaint should be with the Real Estate agent that misrepresented the property to you. By deceit or by omission, the seller of your property is to blame- not Dr. Land. And the lengths that these people went to to impose their will on others – regardless of the law! WOW!

    Do you not understand the circumstances of your own actions? Why do people feel they should control others simply because they exist? This is amazing to me and quite startling. 1984 😥

  87. Isn’t it interesting that “simbachui” was on the village scribe at the same time as Mrs. Land to say that that the blasts were illegal fireworks coming from Stonegate AND that a large aggressive cat named “CHUI” used to come onto our property from Bloomsberry Lane.

  88. For all of those who use the arguemnt that it’s our fault for not knowing about the range before we bought, it not so cut and dry. First, when we bought in February 2000, no body lived in the neighborhood yet. There were no neighbors to ask. And besides, who ever asks if there is a village idiot going ramboIt took 7 months to build our home, so we would come down periodically to check the progress. At no time during that process did we hear any gunfire, nor for the first few months after we moved in (October 2000). Then it started, but only on weekends, and not at night. Over the next few years, it has steadily gotten worse, sometimes everyday. Secondly, his range is a private thing. Thre were no permits, or licences since this area was unincorporated at the time and there was no prohibition on shooting. So doing my due dilligence on a casual shooting range would be akin to finding out who has hammocks in their back yards!

  89. Dr. Land built his range @ 1990. FYI

    How does Mrs. Land’s request for the insults to stop show how arrogant and oblivious they both are? I would respectfully disagree.

    NRA Mom, your speakers shaking the floors in your neighbors’ houses would be illegal. You are correct that it is perception that causes the worry. Concrats to your grad. :mrgreen:

    I hope there can be some resolution to this. Unfortunately, with all the bull that has been tossed around and taking into account all the money Dr. Land has shelled, (pun intended), out for legal fees, I doubt this will happen. If it were me, I would have the entirety of the arsenal out there shaking the floors. Having to go to court to retain my rights would really piss me off. Listing to people whine would piss me off. Insults would piss me off.

    I would have, before the courts were involved, listened to the neighbors and come up with a reasonable compromise. As it sits now, if it were me…I’d buy an MaDeuce 👿 😈 , mount it to Hummer and roll it in to the range on a daily basis.

  90. FYI, Dr. Land purchased his home on Bloomsberry Ln. in July of 1991. His “shooting range” is on a street with other homes and is zoned R40. There are homes on Waxhaw-Indian Trail Rd. around the corner from him (downrange) and at least one house on Bloomsberry (current owners) that were already there when he purchased. Do these homeowners not count? And why was he allowed to have a “shooting range” in a residential street zoned R40? (I am not talking about Stonegate!)

  91. Does anyone else see the irony in Kool-Aid’s post? Loud music is illegal, but deafening gunfire isn’t? Happy July 4th everyone!

  92. FYI, Dr. Land purchased his home on Bloomsberry Lane in July of 1991. It is true that the property which Stonegate is on was a farm when he bought his property. However, There are several homes around the corner from Land’s property on Waxhaw Indian Trail Rd.(downrange), and at least one home on Bloomsberry, that were there before Dr. Land purchased…(the homeowners, not just the house), so do these people count?
    Land’s property is on a residential street that is zoned R40. Why was he
    allowed to have a “gun range” on property that was meant for homes?

  93. More interesting commits. I am still wowed by the intent to inflict individual will on others regardless of the law. Dr. Land has violated no laws, his private range is legal. But, others here still attempt to try their case here in the arena of public opinion. Using spin, insults and other actions to sway the point into their own shortsighted views.
    It appears many here have not heard the news! Dr. Land won the legal battle. Get that chip off your shoulder folks, the range remains.

  94. Mr.Raines,

    I missed your point about Galileo. Unfortunately, again you are off base. Galileo was am Italian SCIENTIST. He was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in advancing science.

    I hardly think his body of work was done for “fun.” Nor was it regulated by a governing body.

  95. Well,

    Irony or not, the law is the law.

    Happy 4th!!!

    Thank you military and vets!

  96. ….For now it is legal, but just because it is legal, doesn’t mean you should. Slavery was legal here, too, but the legality of it didn’t make it right, or moral.

  97. Neighbor; Galileo was proven right by the history that followed him, however the church excommunicated him for heresy before that happened. A man far ahead of his times, he still had to obey the laws of his day. I believe that is the point Mr. Raines was trying to make, unsuccessfully.

  98. “Neighbor in Danger,” I warned you about Raines.

  99. Carbine,

    In the time period and location in which Galileo was living, the church WAS the official government.

    He most definitely did NOT have their endorsement. He had wealthy patrons, but they were not considered the official government- more like large crime families or trading empires, the beginnings of the mafia.

    The church (Rome) was the official law of the land.

  100. Dr. Land must have brought out the REALLY big guns last night. I could hear them in Marshville!

  101. Everyone see what I mean?

  102. Carbine,

    You talking about me? I will not apologize for my belief in private property rights, no matter how much the professional politicians on this blog wish so.

  103. Dear Neighbors:
    I have had a membership to a private shooting range for several years now but I wasn’t stupid enough to buy a house next door to it, or even within earshot.
    When I bought my house, I did my homework and made sure that I was not buying near a shooting range, a landfill, a factory, a motocross track or anything else that might disturb my peace and quiet. I made sure that the house was far enough from the highway that I wouldn’t have to hear that noise either.
    You should have done the same.
    Your excuses for not doing so are pathetic. Your whining is childish.
    The same goes for your safety concerns. If you feel that a shooting range needs a three and a half mile buffer zone, then you should have been sure to buy a house that is at least that distance from any existing shooting ranges. I am at least that far away from my club. No noise, no problems.
    Face it, you screwed up. It is not Dr. Land’s responsibility to fix your screw up for you.
    If you really think that Dr. Land’s range needs improvements to decrease the noise or improve safety then I suggest that you should offer to pay for them yourselves.

  104. To Steve and others who apparently have not read previous posts: There are SEVERAL home and land owners who were here long before Michael Land purchased a secondary home in a residential area for the purpose of establishing a firing range. Where are our property rights? What are we, Chopped Liver?

    What would your reaction would be if after 20+ years on your safe property that you researched so well, a new neighbor moved in and without proper authorization began unsafe practices–namely shooting weapons of mass destruction at his inadequate firing range–not only endangering the neighboring home and land owners with gunfire, but more than likely with lead poisoning seeping into our ground and well water from unclaimed spent shells.

    Those who stood behind Michael Land have in essence been slapped in the face. He is coming to Wesley Chapel and still shooting his machine guns and weapons of mass destruction in an area that is not his primary residence while law-abiding residents of Wesley Chapel can no longer shoot their rifles or hunt in their own backyards.

    The selfishness of ONE person has affected the property rights of MANY.

    What are we, Chopped Liver?

  105. Let me get this straight, if I had a paper mill in the country and neighbors and you built your homes around it, then incorporate into a town, you think you have the right to pass a rule in your town to shut down my mill because it smells bad? In what world?

  106. Chopped Liver:
    Your story is that you lived in your home for 20 years (since about 1970?)when Dr. Land built a shooting range near you (about 1990?)that was unsafe and improperly authorized and fired weapons of mass destruction that endangered you and your neighbors and polluted the water but you stood behind him until recently?
    You supported Dr. Land for how long? 10, 15, 19 years?
    And now that he has improved his back stop you don’t support him any more and are joining the pitchforks and torches mob that is persecuting him?
    Your story does not add up.

  107. Chopped Liver,

    Thank you for speaking your mind. People have tried to make this into a Stonegate matter. It is not. There are numerous homes in the downrange surface danger zone of this range that have no choice but to be there. They were there BEFORE the range, but with the building of the range, these homes were incorporated into the range itself, by the range owner.

    Just because Land’s property ends approx. 100 feet behind his range, does not mean that is where the actual range stops. His surface danger zone, as dictated by the NRA RANGE SOURCE BOOK ( actually 3.12 miles- just for his high powered rifles. This does not even address the machine guns.

    STEVE: I don’t FEEL this is the case, it is written as clear as the nose on your face in the NRA RANGE SOURCE BOOK.

    Whose property rights are being violated? If you bought your property in a RESIDENTIALLY ZONED area prior to 1991, did your research, and now find that because someone built a firing range in a RESIDENTIAL AREA, without the proper safety standards or permits, that your home, livestock or property has been incorporated into the surface danger zone of that range without your permission- or even your knowledge……whose property rights are being violated?!

    These homes have no choice but to be within the range.

    And that’s why the NRA RANGE SOURCE BOOK clearly states numerous times to consult a professional range designer or engineer when building a range. This clearly was not done in this case.

    What’s your defense for that?

  108. Dear Neighbor:
    You were not there before 1991 so what is your beef with the range?

    Here is what the NRA says on it’s website about it’s own Range Source Book:

    “The NRA Range Source Book is a technical source book for shooting range builders and operators. The source book will provide certain information and strategies that may or may not be useful or applicable, depending upon the particular circumstances and objectives of a particular range. All information contained within is in the form of suggested practices only, and no standards are stated or implied. Failure to follow any of the suggestions in The NRA Range Source Book in no way implies that the range is being operated negligently. Nothing contained within The NRA Range Source Book shall be construed as a standard for the evaluation of any specific shooting facility.”

    Did you think I couldn’t find that? I’m a life member. I’ve been to the website.

    The words of the NRA on their own website regarding their own publication is my defense. I would only add that even without the above language the NRA Range Source Book is not law and is not enforcable in any court, anywhere.
    Case closed.

    Your legal theory, that anything within 3 1/2 miles of a firing line is part of a shooting range, while novel, obviously got you nowhere…because it is ridiculous. That is what a berm is for. The doctor’s range has a back stop and no one has ever proven that a bullet has gone over or through it, have they?

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to listen to the sound of gunfire. I don’t want to either. That is why I didn’t buy a house next door to a shooting range!

    PS: I have half a mind to buy the doctor a box of .45 ACP as long as he promises to fire it out of his Thompson on full-auto Sunday morning before 7:00 AM

  109. John Barker and Steve:

    Maybe you should re-read my post. It’s very simple language that most people could understand. Your twisting my words or ignoring them only indicate you have no viable defense so you blame Stonegate. MANY of us have been here since the 70’s–way before ONE person infringed upon the property rights of MANY. It’s as simple as that.

  110. Lady, I do not know where or what Stonegate is unless you are talking about the Stone table restaurant. I also do not know Dr. land. This is a country of laws, he went to court and won. You may appeal if you wish,it’s your money, but I doubt you will win. Best wishes in the future for you…John
    P.S. someone on this column suggested you use that money for sound barries rather than lawyers. Makes sense to me.

    • As moderator, I think comments and arguments on the Gun Range issue have become redundant, so I am closing this tread.

      When the judge’s order is finally released, I will open comments up again or post a new entry concerning the judgement.

      Thank you to those who have participated in the discussion, including Dr. & Mrs. Land.

  111. Chopped Liver:
    Your position seems to be that your opinions are self evidently true and you do not have to defend them. I disagree. How about answering my questions?
    Here is a very simple question. The range has been in operation for at least 18 years now. On what date did you first raise an objection to it?
    While we are at it: to whom did you raise an objection and what was the result?
    Why did you “stand behind” (your words) the doctor in the past and for how long?
    What changed your mind?
    When you can answer those questions you’ll have a shot at convincing me that you are really a neighbor of Dr. Land but as of now your story is not credible to me.

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