New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | November 17, 2019

New Kent Planning Commission creates definition of tactical combat facility; recommends prohibited land use

By Robb Johnson | July 17, 2019 9:51 pm

In 2018, Curtis Security Group put together a proposal to construct a tactical combat range in the Barhamsville area of New Kent. After residents fought and forced the permit to be withdrawn, ongoing discussion has led to New Kent’s Planning Commission to develop a definition of the tactical combat facility and now have sent a recommendation for it to be a part of prohibited land uses.

Under the planning commission’s definition, a tactical/combat training facility is defined as “a commercial, open air facility that is designed to train in any combination of anti-terrorism, counter-terrorism, forced protection operation, and any mission simulation using military weapons which includes many items including real or simulated high impact explosive devices and use of mock high impact firearms blast of simulated rocket-propelled grenades.” Commissioners wanted to make it clear that this does not apply to approved recreational firearms uses and facilities operated by local, regional, state, or federal government agencies for bonafide law enforcement or safety and proficiency training activities as identified in New Kent’s county code.

During the original issue in 2018, John Lockwood and Sandi Gauthier organized a group that opposed the tactical training facility. In their arguments, they said that information provided about the range was untrue and that the proposed outdoor facility would affect the health and wellness of residents. They also stated that the facility could have an accident and also lower property values and shy businesses away from the Barhamsville area.

Since the withdrawal of the permit, New Kent’s Planning Commission has worked on providing a definition. Members said they were not against patriotism or having indoor gun ranges in the future, but specifically designated it as combat facility that has more dangers according to research conducted by Charles Karow.

New Kent supervisors will have an opportunity to vote on the definition and restrict tactical combat ranges at the August meeting.