Yavapai County, landowner at odds over gun range - | WBTV Charlotte

Yavapai County, landowner at odds over gun range


The owner of a ranch about 20 miles northwest of Prescott is at odds with his neighbors and Yavapai County over recreational shooting on his land.

Brad DeSaye bought his 380-acre Headhunter Ranch, near Williamson Valley Road and Fair Oaks Drive, in April.

Since then, his neighbors said their normally quiet neighborhood is often interrupted by gunfire.

"Used to ride (horses) up by the (train) tracks," said Greg Patterson who lives about a half-mile from DeSaye's property. "Now you're afraid to, afraid you're going to get hit with a bullet."

Greg Patterson and his wife Linda aren't alone with their concerns.

Yavapai County's Development Services Department said at least 50 of DeSaye's neighbors have filed complaints.

"It's just whenever he feels like shooting," said Linda Patterson. "And it's generally like automatic, rapid fire - not just single gunshots, like target practicing."

The county put DeSaye on notice in early September that a gun range, on his agriculture-zoned property, violates a zoning ordinance.

His attorney disagrees and said the county is trampling DeSaye's Second Amendment rights.

"There is no state law, no county law that prevents shooting on the property," said Alex Vakula. "That's not the issue. The issue is because there are berms, and they're using those berms for shooting."

Vakula said the berms were put there for agricultural purposes and that DeSaye also uses them for private, recreational shooting.

He said the county's assertion that DeSaye is operating a gun range is false.

"They already have horses on it (the property)," he said. "He's (DeSaye) drilled three wells, water tanks. We've planted winter wheat, and there will be cattle on it - once we get this up and running."

But DeSaye's neighbors said they don't buy it and believe any agricultural work being done is a coverup.

"I think he wants to start a shooting club out there, and it's kind of backfired on him," said Greg Patterson.

Vakula said his client owns J&G Sales, a gun shop in Prescott, and neighbors seem to have the wrong idea about his intentions based on that.

The zoning case is set to go before a county hearing officer Nov. 12.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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