Members believe new development responsible for shuttering gun club

WESTMINSTER, Mass. — The Westminster Rod and Gun Club was recently closed due to noise complaints, but the owners now believe that they’ve been shut down to make room for new development in town.

The popular shooting range has been around since 1892.

Building Commissioner Paul Blanchard wrote to the club, "Complaints indicate the shooting has gone from a few times a year to daily and the intensity of the noise...has dramatically increased."

Lisa Coleman, secretary and member of the Westminster Rod and Gun Club, showed FOX25 plans for a new housing development that she says is less than a mile away from the shooting range and responsible for the closure.

“I think that because of the development coming in and the town wants to make more money as far as taxes on housing,” said Coleman.

Blanchard said that the decision to shut down the shooting range is unrelated to the upcoming development. FOX25 attempted to contact the Building Commissioner, but the Town Administration Building was closed for police training.

Dan Farley lives behind the gun range. According to Farley, there was an increase in shooting last summer. However, while he never complained, a lot of his neighbors did.

“I have heard some grumblings from other people who seem to notice the shooting more often,” said Farley.

The club will continue to fight to stay open when it goes before the Zoning Board of Appeals on April 20.