Every day, right around 11 a.m. retired Marine Gerald Mann and his wife have to decide if they will leave their home for the day, or reach for their earplugs. Soon, the thumping sound of a high caliber weapon being fired reverberates through their neighborhood, and seeps into their living room.
Down the street, nearly 1000 feet away, Gary Nichols works from home. His tranquil and relaxing lunch on his back deck is being interrupted by that same thumping as it drifts over trees 100 feet tall.
They are just two of the neighbors living in the Wynfield neighborhood across the street from the recently opened Georgia Gun Club.
The club proudly advertises its 100 yard range on signage at the opening of their driveway.
Not everyone is annoyed by the sound of gunfire echoing through the neighborhood. One neighbor who lives at the back of the subdivision says they can hear it when they are outside, but it doesn't bother them. They were quick to add, that they could understand how it may be more troublesome to the people living near the front of the neighborhood, like Mann.
Mann and Nichols both point out that the county has an ordinance that deals with noise like this.
Gwinnett County Municipal Ordinance 42-46 reads:
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary or unusual sound or noise which unreasonably annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others in the county, and which is audible to a person of normal hearing ability more than 50 feet from the point of origin of this sound or noise.
"Clearly it's more than 50 feet from the edge of their building to Highway 124. And certainly well beyond that into our subdivision and the other subdivisions that surround it," said Nichols.
Ironically, Mann was excited when he found out the building would house a gun range.
"We shouldn't have to go out in the woods and shoot, take the chance on hitting somebody. We need a gun club," said Mann.
What he and his wife did not anticipate was that the gunfire would reach their home.
"It's just driving us crazy," Mann said.
"All anybody is asking for is to add the necessary insulation that would keep the sounds within that building so that we could go back to the quality of life that we had before they opened," said Nichols.
When we reached out to the Georgia Gun Club, they told us they would not be able to meet with us on camera. Instead they provided us with a written statement from Verne Fowler, the managing member of the club.
"The Georgia Gun Club is a state of the art shooting sports facility that has taken every measure foreseeable to ensure that we are providing a safe and friendly environment for our members, guests and that we are great neighbors and a positive addition to the community," wrote Fowler. "We believe that we are well within the acceptable levels for state and local ordinances covering noise abatement. To be sure that is the case and in the spirit of being good neighbors we are paying for a third party local audio engineering firm to conduct independent noise tests."
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