View Full Version : Help Save Blue Trail Range

07-02-2008, 01:19 AM
Help Save Blue trail Range information
Click on the following link.


07-21-2008, 01:42 PM
They need all the support they can get. There is a town meeting on Tuesday the 22nd.
The world is welcome please come and show your support the more bodies they have the better. There going to give the towns people and up date as to whats going on.

The blue trail range has been closed for 8 weeks. That's a weeks to many that needs to change. It will be held at the town hall on route 17 at 6pm . Please gather up your friends and show up for this meeting.
Red white and blue trail range.

07-23-2008, 12:20 AM
Attorney defends Blue Trail
By: George Moore , Record-Journal staff

DURHAM - A town meeting Tuesday night saw an attorney for Blue Trail Range defend the business against allegations that its shooters might be hitting homes, while state police revealed little.

The meeting was called to update residents on the problem of bullets striking Durham homes near Tri-Mountain State Park. Within the last year, there have been three reported stray-bullet incidents on Tri-Mountain Road and one on Catherine Drive. Some residents say the bullets are coming from Blue Trail, but the Wallingford gun range is fighting back.

Several Blue Trail supporters showed up at Tuesday's meeting.

The turnout of about 100 was too large for Town Hall, so the meeting was relocated to the Durham Public Library.

State police told the audience that they are still investigating. On Thursday, state police will bring several .50-caliber rifles to a laboratory in Massachusetts to determine if any match the spent bullets collected in Durham homes, said Maj. Christopher Arciero. State police are asking all owners of such rifles in the state to allow police to test their weapons. He Arciero some have responded.

Martha Dean, an attorney for Blue Trail Range, took center stage at the meeting to cast doubt on the allegations and to highlight safety improvements at the facility.

A ballistics expert hired by Blue Trail found that it is unlikely that the range was the source of the bullets that hit Durham homes, according to Dean's presentation. A mountain separates Blue Trail from the Durham neighborhoods. The expert, Clark Vargas and Associates, determined that the mountain casts a "ballistic shadow" that would make it nearly impossible for someone at Blue Trail to hit a Durham home, she said.

"You would have to step out in front of the safety barriers and you would have to shoot straight into the air," Dean said.

That drew criticism from Pasquale DiNatale, the outspoken Catherine Drive resident who is suing the range. Trees on the side of the mountain facing Blue Trail have evidence of bullet strikes from the range's direction, he said. DiNatale also disputed elevations and other figures cited in Dean's PowerPoint presentation.

Dean said that, even if a stray bullet were to clear the mountain, it would travel well past the homes that reported bullet strikes. She said the range has a decades-old legal arrangement to use part of the mountain as a backstop, though the extent of that agreement is disputed.

The meeting turned into an odd sparring match between DiNatale and Dean that foreshadows the upcoming court case, in which DiNatale will try to obtain an injunction against the range.

Dean, in her presentation, called attention to DiNatale's ability to hunt in the Tri-Mountain area. She said DiNatale deeded 7.7 acres of his property to the town of Durham, but with the understanding that he would have lifelong use of the property for hunting. She also noted that DiNatale owns 54 acres on which he can shoot.

One woman said the debate should not be about DiNatale, since several residents have complaints about bulltes. The woman, who would not give her name to a reporter, said she has eight bullet holes in her house and had 11 in her pool before she took it down.

After the meeting, DiNatale said he does not own a .50-caliber rifle and that he hasn't hunted on the property in three years.

Dean spent much of the meeting highlighting safety improvements at the gun range. Blue Trail has extended baffling at the 100-yard range and made it thicker with multiple layers of wood and steel, she said. Blue Trail has also enlarged the berms that serve as backstops.

The range has updated safety procedures after hearing from Vargas and National Rifle Association experts, Dean said. The range will now require the safety officer to inspect a shooter's area before he or she can leave. The inspector would be able to tell whether any inappropriate shooting had occurred, she said. There is also extensive video surveillance of the entire facility, she said.

Given the safety improvements, the range plans to reopen its 100-yard range, Dean said, but the 200-yard range will remain closed, except for air gun and BB gun practice. Those ranges were voluntarily closed due to concerns expressed by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The meeting Tuesday often devolved into heckling and shouting. But Blue Trail supporter Jim Belote, of Meriden, said he empathized with the residents, though he insisted that the range has an "impeccable" safety record. Belote said he has been shooting at the range for years.

"The bottom line is: All we care about is safety," he said, "and the indisputable fact at this point is nothing is indisputable."

(203) 317-2275