County Planning Commission approves new pistol range for County Sheriff department

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, May 24, 2022

OXFORD, Miss. — The Lafayette County Planning Commission voted on Monday to grant a conditional use permit to the Lafayette County Law Enforcement Association, allowing them to go forward with the creation of a new pistol range on County Road 309.

The new range will feature moving targets, a business pavilion for meetings and lunches, as well as a 12-foot-by-12-foot observation tower that will be manned by a range master while the facility is in use.

“The existing range, which has been there quite sometime, has become somewhat obsolete,” said Ben Smith, who represented the engineering firm that designed the range.

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The Sheriff’s Department received a grant from the Mississippi Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks to build the facility, which will begin seeking separate bids for the construction of the facility and the installation of the new moving targets as soon as the project is approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The range will be used by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, the Oxford Police Department and other state and federal agencies that have branches in the surrounding area. It will also be available for public use on designated business days.

“All the local agencies and all the other agencies that are housed here [will use the facility],” said Scott Mills, Deputy Chief at the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department. “Out-of-town state and federal agencies also come—it’s almost in daily use now. That’s why we were glad to get the grant so we can expand and add another range.”

The conditional use permit was required because the new facility is classified by the county as a “quasi-public facility” but the proposed site is zoned for agricultural use.

The department will go before the Board of Supervisors on June 20 for final approval.