RCMP carbine training triggers noise concerns east of Regina
Residents of Stone Pointe Estates, the RCMP and the Regina Wildlife Federation Range met on Wednesday to try and find a solution to a noise issue.
Farzana Timol has lived in the area since 2011. She said the sound of guns increased last year when members of the RCMP started training with carbine riffles.
“(It’s) really loud, even inside the house in a fairly soundproof house with the doors and windows closed, and it's continuous,” said Timol.
Timol said her family knew the Regina Wildlife Federation Range was nearby when they picked the property. They even signed a clause before they built their home acknowledging the proximity of the range. Timol said the noise wasn't an issue until last year when the RCMP started using larger guns.
The RCMP said training at the range is essential because their ranges in Regina aren’t big enough for some guns and some are under construction.
“To ensure our communities are kept safe by highly trained members, we require the use of the Regina Wildlife Federation’s ranges in 2017,” said RCMP Supt. Kevin Jones.
The range opened east of Regina 54 years ago. The owners say police forces have always come to do training at the range, but the amount of shooting increased when Mounties started training with carbine riffles.
"If people build in the country and they complain about dust in their yard, or by a golf course and there's golf balls laying in their backyard I mean it's the same thing," said
Gil White of the Regina Wildlife Federation Range
The range said they've tried to reduce noise for their neighbors by planting more trees and limiting the hours RCMP members can train.
"People in the area know it's been here for a long time,” said White. “It was written in contracts that we are here. We're just doing what we've always done and yes, can be noisy, but it's a gun range."
The Rural Municipality of Edenwold has been looking into rezoning the area, but even if that happens, the range can follow the bylaws that were in place when it opened in the 1960s.
"If we were to change their zoning now they would be considered legal non-conforming to continue what they're currently doing," said RM of Edenwold administrator Kim McIvor.
On Wednesday night, the RM held a public meeting to try to find a solution. The RCMP said it will reduce training from 21 weeks to 14 weeks, not train in July and August, and only have members of depot at the range, not ‘F’ Division.
The compromise will be submitted to the residents of Stone Pointe Estates.