Firearms, tactical training area approved in Rochester

Aug 8, 2019

ROCHESTER — With the input of Chief of Police Robert Small, the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved a special permit for Steven Morell of Fox Den Solutions to use his County Road Property as a firearms and tactical training area on Thursday, Aug. 8.

Fox Den Solutions provides training for law enforcement, military personnel and the general public. Morrell has been using the property to provide these services intermittently, but said that he wants to do so on a more regular basis.

Morrell appeared before the board in a public hearing on July, 25, requesting a special permit to create a range backstop, and place a conex storage container on the property. After discussing Morrell’s application, the board decided to continue the hearing to Aug. 8. Board Member Kirby Gilmore said that he would like the Chief of Police to be present to offer his opinion, before making a final decision.

In the continued hearing, Small said that he had no reservations about the application due to Morrell’s experience, and the safety of the location.

Morrell’s qualifications include service in the Marine Corps, Wareham Police Department, and the United States Department of Homeland Security. He has also served as an adjunct instructor for Sig Sauer Academy, a firearms and tactics academy in New Hampshire.

“With his experience, he of anyone, would be very conscious of safety,” Small said.

The property at 0 County Road is relatively remote, with the nearest building being about a third of a mile to the east. It is surrounded by cranberry bogs, wetlands, and an agricultural pond.

In granting the special permit, the board had several stipulations for Morrell.

Morrell must obtain a range permit from the Board of Selectmen, and the Chief of Police must visually inspect the property at least once a year to ensure that it complies with the town’s by-laws.

Hours of operation will be limited to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays and federal holidays, operation hours will be limited to noon to 8 p.m. Exceptions to these limitations can be made with the approval of selectmen, and the Chief of Police.

No firearms are allowed to be stored on the property, and no firearms training will be allowed unless Morell, or one of his approved trainers are present. Morell must also provide the Chief of Police with the names of his trainers prior to operation.

Morrell is not allowed to place any signs on public ways in the town, he must also file a right of way with the Registry of Deeds to allow proper access to his property from an entrance on Forbes Road.