Proposed gun club in rural Trousdale County sees some pushback

(Photo: WKRN)

TROUSDALE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s not much to see at an estimated 135 acres of land along Highway 231 in Trousdale County.

Surrounded by quite a few homes and a lot of farmland, the property is the new proposed site of the Gallatin Gun Club.

It has operated on Tennessee Valley Authority property in Sumner County for more than 50 years.

The proposed site plan includes ranges for rifles, pistols, and shotguns.

Mark Swaffer is in the process of building a house about 1,000 feet from that site. He said he’s concerned because of the potential for increased noise and traffic, as well as decreasing property values and safety concerns.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

“We don’t want to sit on our back deck in the morning drinking coffee from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the summer hearing constant gunfire,” Swaffer said. “The first question you ask when you hear of an organization wanting to move from one county to another is why? Why our county?”

According to its website, the Gallatin Gun Club is “not a public range” and is only meant to be used by its 1,500 members and their guests.

TVA spokesperson Scott Brooks said it’s “closing the club after 54 years of operation” due to “safety.”

Brooks went on to say “the plant has continued to expand operations on the reservation and is closer than ever before, which creates safety and security issues.”

He said “the decision to close the Gallatin Gun Club location is not a reflection of the club or its members, many of whom are TVA employees or retirees.”

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Gallatin Gun Club’s website shows the organization expects to pay about $400,000 for the new property—if it receives final approval by the Hartsville-Trousdale County Board of Zoning Appeals, which could come as early as February.

The website specifies the club must be off TVA property by mid-February and hopes to have a new site open within six months.

“We just want to protect our well-being now and in the future,” said Swaffer, who has started an online petition opposing the location of the facility.

As of Wednesday, his petition has collected an estimated 50 signatures. Swaffer has also circulated fliers to the homes in his area.

Gallatin Gun Club declined comment and simply said there have been a few hurdles involving the property along Highway 231 that would need to be worked out for the proposal to continue.

One of the hurdles Dwight Jewell with Hartsville-Trousdale County Building and Zoning said could be that following an appraisal, it appears the 135 acres of land is significantly smaller than anticipated.

The site plan is expected to be presented to the planning commission at a 7 p.m. meeting on Monday.

Jewell said that is where the commission can decide whether the plans comply with all requirements, and the plan can proceed forward to the Board of Zoning Appeals for final approval.