Gun range next to Hamptons school sparks concerns after Sandy Hook shooting

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Students at an East End school are feeling uneasy after the sound of gun shots echoed through classrooms just four days after a gunman shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut.

“The Tuesday after the shooting, our police officers went to a facility to do some gun training,” said Southampton Mayor, Mark Epley.

The private gun range, used for police training, is a quarter mile from Tuckahoe School.  The facility, tucked in the woods, has been in the town for 40 years, said the Mayor.


Tuckahoe School students were shaken up last week when the police decided to fire off machine guns at a gun range a quarter mile away

Students and teachers inside the school were left shaken — unaware that practice was underway outside.

“It’s horrific.  With everything going on lately the children doesn’t need to be in fear more than they already are,” said Kris Tolarico, who lives near Tuckahoe.

After complaints came pouring in the Mayor decided to take action.  He met with the police chief and signed an executive order, eliminating training during school hours.

While many were happy with the Mayor’s move, others in the quaint Hamptons town feel the range, should be shut down for good.

“That’s not happening.  I am not going to shut down the range.  It is important for our police department,” said Epley.

The range is privately owned and has been in operation for 40 years — but officers can no longer shoot during school hours.

“I think the range is safe and good for our community.  I think it should stay,” said Phil Matthews.


    • retphxfire

      Probably before they ever had to worry about little men with big guns breaking into their school and murdering them. Give THEM a break. Have you know compassion for small children.

      • Rich

        Whatever you say Senator McCarthy…
        Get the facts straight before you make a fool of yourself. The Police use that range.
        I repeat… GIVE ME A BREAK!

    • James

      Exactly. The constitution protects our right to bear arms. How dare they try to take our guns? We should simply make the bullets illegal. The constitution doesn't give us the right to own bullets.

    • retphxfire

      How can you call a child a liberal or conservative, they can't even vote yet? 'Cuz that's what you and other's like you are saying…how dare these children be frightened when they hear gun fire during school hours only days after other children their age were murdered by a sad, little man (using legal guns..). The nerve of those children. Also…Seems odd whenever a 2nd Amender comments on the Bill of Rights. They are usually the first to not understand what the First Amendment really states, the first to try and deny others rights (like telling someone to leave the US if they don't agree with them), the first to agree with the Patriot Act, etc.

  • joe

    Why do so many folks assume you are Liberal if you want any new dialogue on gun control? Conservative here on most issues and don't like to be painted one way or another by others.

    • Enzo

      …Because they have been programmed to be closed-minded. They simply aren't able to think for themselves out of fear of not fitting into the "gang".

  • Tim

    My gun has not killed anyone this week, last month, or in the last 12 years. Law abiding citizens should not have to give up the right to protect themselves just so these people can think the they have made the world safer. I know that if guns are banned completely that the criminals will also follow the law and give up their guns as well.

    • joe

      You have a good gun Tim. Some guns get ticked off when they lose their job and go bang, some guns go bang when their girlfriend dumps them for another gun or some just go bang after they don't have all their screws tightened properly during the gun manufacturing process. :)

    • JayHobeSound

      I have not heard one person suggest taking guns from current legal owners nor suggest anything remotely like a complete ban on selling or buying firearms. Limiting capacity of magazines or stricter background checks I have heard suggested. I'm not worried about my firearms being taken away by govt, Theft is my concern so I keep them in a gun safe w/fingerprint lock in the bedroom wall. Hopefully a fellow firearms owner will come up w/a viable suggestion – that would be a win/win – can't call us 'gun nuts' if we help with the problem imho.

    • retphxfire

      BS…the guns and shooters were mosly legal, law abiding citizens until they opened up with semi-automatic weapons and killed a few hundred people in mass shootings, plus road rage, spousal shootings, etc. This mantra about law abiding citizens is as profound as 'guns don't kill people', 'outlaw cars…' and the 'we already have laws', unfortunately we also have huge loopholes. There is nothing in the Constitution that doesn't allow for reasonable, national laws and regulations. I'm sick of the 'my rights trump your rights' of the zealots.

  • Mark

    Oh for the love of… More emotional BS coming from people that should have their heads on straight. Disgusting what this country is turning into.

    • Tim

      @ Joe
      And the strange thing is that i was out of work for a year, had my wife cheat and take off with my kids. But yet my gun stayed sane the whole time and never thought of hurting anyone. It all comes down to personal responsibility and value of life. I value my own life and the lives of almost everyone else, i don't value the lives of people that will rob and rape because they are being held down by THE MAN.

  • Bob

    I like this… take the guns away from the police too! Their training is getting in the way of the safety of the community. Why don't we take away 1st amendment rights too so we don't have to put up with all the complaining getting in the way of public safety.

  • Chris

    The supreme court has ruled that the 2nd amendment guarantees the individuals right to bear arms. With that finally being recognized, there shouldnt be any discussion of any types of firearms being banned. Its very upsetting to me that someone would want to deprive me of the most effective tool with which to defend my family, an AR-15 style rifle. I served several years in the U.S. army, half in a special operations unit, and have extensive training with this particular type of rifle. It is the best tool for the job. It has a high ammunition capacity, its accurate, its easy to fire from different positions and the low recoil makes it easy for my wife to fire should she have to defend herself while Im not home. A gun is just a tool, nothing more. I want to continue to have the use of the best tool for the job of home defense.

    • CMB

      I assume that you are referring to the Court's decision in DC v. Heller, where the Court did affirm that the 2nd amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for a traditionally lawful purpose (such as self defense). But in Justice Scalia's opinion, he states "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." So, I would suggest that there is ample room for discussion of certain types of firearms being banned (whether we like it or not). I also have ample military training with an AR-15 style rifle, and I think it is a fine rifle, but I find that a shot gun provides the best home defense.

  • Randy

    The reason I want my automatic weapons? It’s because so many of you are willing to give up your freedom for security provided by a government ready willing and able to take them from you. There are too many takers in our country and not enough earners. So when I earn mine and you or this government comes to take it you can have it but it’ll cost you. When our government enacts it’s gun control what is there to stand between you and a tyrannical government? What stands between you and what you have worked your whole life for? Our forefathers provided the means for us to defend ourselves from such a government.

    Amendment II
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    And from your Declaration of Independence:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    That is why your government wants your guns,Period !

  • Randy

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

  • guest

    Sometimes giving into fear is more harmful than learning when one should fear and when one should not. If my child were afraid of such noises I would seek to move them beyond the fear rather than to support their fear. Carrying such a fear of sound into adult life is not something we should be move toward.

  • Mike

    “It’s horrific. With everything going on lately the children doesn’t need to be in fear more than they already are,” said Kris Tolarico, who lives near Tuckahoe
    Really? Who is causing the fear? Do they get taught how many of them die every year from car wrecks?
    Get a grip on reality. Stop trying to make the kids a pawn in your ignorance and need to control what other do. Don't like it? Move.

  • Jim

    This is asinine. Maybe they should have considered it when THE SCHOOL was built next to the EXISTING gun range.

  • Dan

    Police do not use "Machine Guns". Chances are they were using handguns or AR-15 style rifles. An AR-15 style rifle IS NOT a machine gun. This reporter needs to get terminology right. I don't know if it was just ignorance or what but if she is going to go on air, she needs to use the proper term. I hear people refer to M16s as machine guns all the time and it drives me crazy. Sorry for my soap box.

    The police probably did not give a second thought to conducting training at a facility that they have been using for a long time. Scaring someone was an uninteded consequence of normal training, but it is not like the range popped up over night, and it is likley not the first time that the gun fire was heard at the school. I hate to say that people are being overly sensative…but they are.

  • Cactus02

    AS I was coming to this site I noticed that they still had wrong information on Lanzas mother working in the Sandy Hook School. If this is their digree of journalistic accuracy can we trust anything they have to say.

  • Jeff

    One would think.

    A Gun Range near a school. Would not be a bad thing if say it was run or frequented by Police Officers.

    • chris

      also we need to stop hiding the truth about how this world really is,so that these kids can grow up knowing that one day they may may have to go in defense of our nation.just like many of us already have said ,here sir at roll what point in time did our alta boys become firemen,police officers,or military men and women,to serve and protect our nation,states and citys with a gun as a tool,but most of all ourselves providing,our own personal,and family protection at home.moral of this story=gun education will remove fear and grow respect for such tools,for the protection of all the above mentioned.

  • Matthew

    How about this for an answer; Have the police inform the school of their training schedule ! Crazy idea huh? I live next to a military base- the base will routinely put out public notices when certain ranges are in use or when special training is going on. This simple act of communication cuts down on citizens complaining or questioning.

    They could even go so far as to bring the kids out to "meet the police" and maybe learn what the police are capable of. Building a bit of trust and community spirit can be invaluable.

  • Ryansdad

    Funny how the article states that "others in the quaint community want the range closed" what others? Are there cnn staffers living there? Why weren't they quoted directly? Foolish article written by a foolish liberal reporter. school safety will start at the schools! Not by some foolish liberal idea to abolish all guns.

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