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Davison County Commission Says Gun Range at Lake Mitchell Bad Idea

Last year the Mitchell City Council started looking into building a public gun range either near Lake Mitchell or at the old city dump on the south side of town. The city decided to propose a $1.8-million gun range on the lake outside city limits. On Tuesday night, the Davison County Planning and Zoning Commission responded to overwhelming public opposition and said no way:

After it was revealed 70 residents who attended the meeting were against the location of the gun range while 16 were in favor, the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied the city of Mitchell’s conditional use permit that’s required for the project to materialize. The planning and zoning commission’s decision is a recommendation for the Davison County Commission to consider when the governing body meets in late September to decide the fate of the gun range permit.

The permit for the proposed $1.8 million gun range that the city is seeking to build on a portion of the former Kelley property west of Mitchell drew nearly 100 Mitchell area residents to Tuesday’s meeting, with a vast majority of them speaking against the project location. Noise from gun shots, security oversight and environmental impacts were shared concerns from many residents who spoke [Sam Fosness, “Davison County Panel Denies Permit for City’s Gun Range After Flood of Nearby Residents Oppose Location,” Mitchell Republic via Yahoo, 2023.09.05].

Opponents carefully insist that they aren’t against America’s rampant gun culture; they just the city’s gun range out of range of their hearing and property values. Proponents submitted letters but slunk away from the cameras at Tuesday’s meeting.


  1. John 2023-09-07

    It appears that “freedum” died in Davison County. Woe is us. Can the tyranny of community living be far behind?

  2. Loren 2023-09-07

    Curious, how many multi-million dollar gun ranges do we really need in SD? Pretty soon, we will have more gun ranges than pickle ball courts. ;-)

  3. Heckifino 2023-09-07

    I thought they already had a public funded gun range at the city dump by the lagoons south of Michell.

  4. John 2023-09-08

    Heckifino: that proximity argument was exactly the argument used to counter the GFP ammosexuals megaplex in Meade County — there are over a dozen gun ranges within 60-90 miles of that monstrosity. A dozen is never enough.

  5. O 2023-09-08

    Isn’t that what the silencer craze is made to address; have you own gun range in your own basement!

  6. Rick 2023-09-09

    A gun range once existed north of the city slightly north of the airport’s north/south runway, accessible by Highway 37. The range faced west away from the highway and a hill is behind the target boards. Apparently, it’s no longer used? I’m a Mitchell native but I visit the city maybe twice a year now that my parents are deceased so my knowledge of things going on in the city has diminished. In my opinion, that’s a perfect spot, stray bullets lodge in the hill behind the targets.

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