Senior Staff Writer
Two Marshall County men want to establish firing ranges on their property and their land use rezoning requests are scheduled for two county meetings this month.
Curtis Denton of Spring Place Road got an instructor's permit last year so he could shoot and teach his family, friends and fellow church parishioners how to shoot safely.
Edwin Anthony "Tony" Shankle of Highway 270, Chapel Hill, and his associates want to add a firing range to their business, Strategic Edge Inc. Since 1999, Strategic Edge has developed into a multifaceted Defense Department contractor.
County planning commissioners will consider the requests from Denton and Shankle on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the County Courthouse Annex on Lewisburg's public square. At 5:30 p.m. Jan. 28, county commissioners will hear public comments on the rezoning requests. If approved Jan. 28, the requests will be considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals, which will impose additional standards to protect the community.
Denton's proposed hunter safety and gun safety school "is mainly for personal use," he said. "I've worked on the firing range for over a year.
"My wife and I have kids," Denton said. "She and I went and got our permits and then I realized it would be cheaper for me to get my instructor's permit" and teach the family, rather than buying lessons.
Other relatives and church members mentioned that they'd like to have lessons, Denton said.
He started shooting at his private range by hanging a target from a clothesline and his daughter shot the clothes line rope.
"I thought, 'She'll never hit it,' but she did," Denton said. "I'm trying to teach my kids how to safely handle a firearm."
Shankle, a 1985 Forrest High School graduate, is not as well known as Denton, a former member of the school board here.
Strategic Edge is hired for services to the U.S. government and that includes training military forces in combat tactics.
"We decided to expand our training to include civilian training, so we decided to build a range here," Shankle said.
Strategic Edge has three divisions: construction and development; staffing; and a defense division offering training for military and supply people for government contractors.
Shankle is asking for rezoning of two acres from an agriculture classification to a commercial zone. He has 371 acres on Route 270.
Denton wants one acre of his property rezoned from agriculture to commercial.3.