Yesterday afternoon, November 11, 2022, our neighborhood off Weaver Dairy Extension (Larkspur) in Chapel Hill looked out of their windows and came carefully out of doors to determine where all of the extremely loud gunfire was coming from. We’ve experienced this before, however this time the gunfire was louder, faster, semi-automatic-like, and from a seemingly different location than the last time this happened. Loud "semi-automatic" gunfire noise seemed to be coming from the northeastern portion of the Greene Tract. Last time multiple calls had been made to 911, and the Sheriff’s officers determined the people shooting targets were on their private property on Genestu Rd. but were shooting with no backstop. The target shooters were informed they needed to install a backstop in order to target shoot in the future.
Yesterday was different with how loud and fast the gunfire was happening, (like a war zone), and where the shooting seemed to be coming from, so neighbors called 911 again. I was one of them. The 911 operator stated “those shots are coming from people who are target shooting off Eubanks Road and have registered with the Orange County Sheriff, so they are aware.” I said, then the Sheriff is aware so it must be safe to walk in the Greene Tract on those trails (as I usually do). The dispatch operator said “I am not sure about that” and said I could call the Sheriff’s office. I called the Sheriff’s office and the receptionist said I was one of many calls that had come in, and I was immediately told “they don’t have to register their guns or register if they are going to target practice.” (I had not inquired as to whether they had registered anything.) I asked the receptionist if it was safe to walk on the Greene Tract trails near there. The response was, I don’t know, call 911 dispatch and ask them because they are in touch with the officers (who may or may not be on the scene).
No one could tell me if it was safe to walk on the Greene Tract or even down the end of our street. My neighbor said she had called both 911 and the Sheriff’s office and was told no one had registered for target practice, and it was unknown as to whether or not there was a backstop installed. Unfortunately, information was different to different neighbors that had called in, and no one seemed to know how safe the area was.
Here is my request: Communication to neighbors/the community before the target shooting and a guarantee of our safety on the Greene Tract while the target practice is going on. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) was apparently aware (I guess) that this target practice was going to happen. Could the OCSD inform the Town(s) and neighborhoods that the loud target shooting is going to happen and when, and that it is safe to walk in the Greene Tract during the time of the shooting (or not)? Could the OCSD study the area and watch the target shooting sometime to assess safety of the Greene Tract during the shooting? Maybe they have, and then we would like assurances of our safety.
No one likes to be in their homes being disturbed by loud "semi-automatic" weapons firing outside. We certainly don’t want to be fearful of enjoying physically being outside.
104 Livingston Place, Chapel Hill, NC
I have forwarded your email to Sheriff Blackwood. Someone from his office will respond to you regarding your concern and your request.