Pasco residents continue to fight gun range, citing illegal operation 

Article Courtesy of BayNews 9

By Sally Mamdooh

Published April 12, 2015


SPRING HILL -- Pasco County is fighting to get a local gun range to cease fire citing it has been operating illegally. 

It’s a fight that first started three years ago between residents who live near the gun range and and the gun range owner.

Shawn Roark and his family moved to Pasco Trails five years ago because it was a quiet and peaceful community.


“It’s very quiet, occasionally a lawn mower, but not too much more than maybe a car driving by occasionally,” said Pasco Trails resident Shawn Roark.

But the serenity that his community once had slowly turned what typically sounds like a war zone.

Roark and his neighbors in both Pasco Trails and Pilot Country Estates recorded the constant loud noises coming from a nearby gun.

“When the gun range starts, a lot of it is full auto and it can go on for three to four hours,” Roark said.

And there is no escaping the noise, because the gun range sits on 136 acres that’s right in the middle of the two communities.

Shawn Roark and his family moved to Pasco Trails five years ago in part for the quiet. Now, he and others are waging a legal battle with the operator of a nearby gun range.

Aside from safety, Roark says the gun range has been operating illegally for more than two years.

The county has filed a complaint asking the court to allow the county to take action to shut down the range because leaders believe it is operating as a business and not for personal use.

Court documents show that in 2012, the owner, Skip Drish, applied for a permit to use the property as a training and instructional facility for firearms. But after opposition by neighboring residents such as Roark, the permit was ultimately withdrawn.

Documents also show that Drish held several firearms proficiency qualifications at the range since he withdrew the application.

Skip Drish’s attorney says he plans to file a counter claim on behalf of his client citing unfair treatment by the county.

Attorney Luke Lirot released this statement to Bay News 9: “The basis of the complaint is the county’s assertion that they are in doubt as to their ability to enforce arbitrary and imprecise zoning regulations to prevent the establishment and continued operation of firearms based training and educational facility. This activity is protected by the second amendment and the Florida statues,”

For Roark, though, the county’s stand against the owner has been long overdue. 

“There are probably a dozen more homes at Pasco Trails that are at risk and some in Pilot Country,” Roark said.