Huntsville police targeting new, enclosed gun range

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Leaders at the Huntsville police department are setting their sights on the place, where they set their sights.

Police are asking the city to help them build a new indoor gun range, something a little quieter for neighbors next door.

From a few paces away on lane 37, firearms instructor John Doyle makes it look effortless.

"I enjoy this out here, I really do," Doyle said. "I want to make sure our officers are proficient, and they maintain that proficiency."

He's demonstrating shooting from cover. Doyle is tasked with testing Huntsville's police officers every year during their required range time.

"We'll then put them through a qualification course that is A-post standard. Mostly for their duty weapon, which is their pistol," Doyle said.

"Something happens and your adrenaline kicks that heart rate up, kicks the blood pressure up. and we try to mimic that," Lieutenant Michael Johnson with the Huntsville Police Department said.

The police range in Triana is a year old. And neighbors living nearby say most weekday mornings, they don't need an alarm clock.

"They don't shoot every day, but when they do, it's loud," Charlie Coleman, who lives in Triana, said.

"Pretty soon, it's going to get bigger," Doyle said.

Bigger, and ideally, quieter. Huntsville police plan to build four walls and a roof, not just so they can use it rain or shine, but also to cut down on the noise. Since every sworn officer in Huntsville is getting an AR rifle by next year, that'll mean thousands more rounds that neighbors have to put up with.

"Most of this entire range is going to be covered," Lt. Johnson said.

There's no target date for completion yet. First, project leaders have to design it and figure out how to pay for it. Johnson says the FBI has promised $6 million to build the combined space. It's unclear yet how much the city's portion will be.

"We'll be glad to get it quieted down," Coleman said.

But neighbors like Coleman say, the sooner the better.

So far, the project is in its early stages. A Huntsville police spokesman says the department wants to build the new range within three years.

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