A change in venue has become necessary for the upcoming Close Range Gunfighting class scheduled for September 18-19, 2010 in West Jefferson, Ohio. The class has been moved to Ashville, Ohio for the above dates. Unfortunately the West Jefferson facility has been under a court ordered “cease fire” since June. I had hoped this matter would have been settled by this time, but it has not. Below is in part the official release from the West Jefferson, Ohio range.
West Jefferson, Ohio - Big Darby Creek Shooting Range, LLC, (Big Darby), a membership based, public shooting range, training facility and federally licensed gun dealer has had all live-fire shooting activities suspended since June 14, 2010, when the Madison County Common Pleas Court ordered a general cease fire, based on a civil nuisance complaint filed by Battelle Memorial Institute. This order was issued by the Court without hearing from Big Darby’s counsel in what is known as an “ex parte” temporary restraining order hearing, due to Battelle’s claims that bullets were escaping the Big Darby berms over one mile away and landing on its “High Energy Research Laboratory Area” and other property, east of SR 142. At all times, Big Darby has denied these allegations.
On July 29, 2010, the Court converted its restraining order to a preliminary injunction, which continued the cease fire, until a final trial on the merits. The preliminary injunction required Big Darby to demonstrate certain improvements to the range prior to resuming operations. Big Darby continues to deny that any proof has shown that it is responsible for any errant rounds striking Battelle. However, Big Darby has been willing to make range improvements to increase safety margins. On August 17th, Big Darby filed notice of detailed engineering plans and drawings, along with revised range safety protocols for the Court’s information and these plans were served on Battelle’s lawyers, to obtain approval for the shooting to resume.
Since no response from Battelle has been forthcoming, Big Darby has now appealed to the Twelfth District Court of Appeals in Middletown, Ohio, asking a three judge panel to review the Common Pleas Court’s decision closing the range. Big Darby has also asked the Common Please judge to lift the injunction pending a decision on the appeal, if the safety improvements are implemented, and this motion is still pending.