Common Council votes "no" on re-opening Delafield shooting range

DELAFIELD (WITI) — FOX6 News has learned the City of Delafield Common Council says "no" to the re-opening of a shooting range at the Hartland Sportsmen's Club.

The Delafield Common Council voted unanimously on Monday, December 2nd to uphold the denial by the city's Plan Commission as to a conditional use permit for a shooting range for the Sportsmen's Club.

When making its decision, the Plan Commission cited safety in its unanimous denial of the conditional use permit back on November 20th.

More than 100 people showed up at a public hearing on September 25th at Delafield’s City Hall to speak for and against re-opening a shooting range at the Hartland Sportsmen’s Club.

The range has been closed since April of 2010, when a stray bullet traveled hundreds of yards from the club to the Delafield Brewhaus, where it grazed Raluca Buznea on the stomach.

Buznea was 17 weeks pregnant with her son, who will turn three next week.

Today, Buznea says she has no opinion about the club re-opening, and is just happy that she and her son are healthy.

Those at City Hall on September 25th had strong opinions on the issue.

“I believe that if you enclose the entire gun club completely and put a roof over it and enclose it with walls it’ll be safe and if you don’t you can’t take the human factor out of it,” John Barker, who owns a business near the Sportsmen’s Club.

Both sides enlisted the help of range experts and came prepared with Powerpoint presentations that addressed the range’s new design.

“This would be state-of-the-art — the safest range in southeastern,  if not all of Wisconsin,” Attorney for the Sportsmen’s Club Scott Burns said.

Attorneys for the club had said they hired engineers and range experts to make changes to improve safety, including placing more supervisors on the range, and a new baffling system designed to catch stray bullets.

“These are literally structures made out of metal steel that are designed to make it impossible for a round fired from a shooting position to leave the range,” Attorney for the Sportsmen’s Club Jeremy Levinson said.

Attorneys said it would have been arguably be the safest gun range in Wisconsin, but some neighbors disagreed.

“The management of that gun club has not been competent over the years,” Gary Hovlia said.