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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Holly Ridge served Dorothy Royal owner of Surf City guns and ammo with a lawsuit Tuesday, saying she can no longer use firearms on her property.

Royal says not only is her property outside of Holly Ridge limits, but the town is not picking on anyone else. She says the lawsuit is personal.

“They are not suing any of my neighbors,” said Royal. “They are not asking any of the other property owners to stop shooting on their property. They are not going after anyone else.”

Royal used to teach outdoor shooting classes on the land, which is technically in Onslow County, but has since shut it down because of the lawsuit.

“We only had 22 members for our little private gun club we had, and I gave them back their money and told them I’m sorry I couldn’t have a gun club.”

She says with the growing gang problem, these classes gave bored kids something to do. It taught people how to protect themselves. Royal says the town is abusing its power.

The Town of Holly Ridge directed any questions regarding the case to its lawyer. Royal and supporters will be attending the town’s next agenda meeting for answers.

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    While I applaud your research be advised that in the Onslow County case we are talking a business that operates a range for a fee along with classes.

    I still think the owner in this case should prevail, but I have my doubts the court will rule in their favor……


  • Guest 87

    Warned for what and by whom? Do you know any of the facts? The range follows the county restrictions and is in the county, not Holly Ridge city limits. There are a handful of ranges surrounding her property including Surf City’s as well as Holly Ridge’s. Not to mention many private individuals shooting on their private property. Despite these over the top stories that happened a year before the range was open and during hours they are closed, no one has done any inspection or investigation to determine any legitimacy to any allegations. Now why would they not investigate these claims? The fix is in.

  • antithug

    Just wanted to say that these are good people. I drove up there on a Saturday from Monkey Junction in Wilmington because at the time they were the only ones offering a one-day CCW class for a fair price. They were able to offer this due to the fact that they had this range on their land.

  • Karma 2

    She had been warned numerous time and multiple complaints have been filed from the community. Also, the neighbors do not have multiple people out there.

  • guesty

    It appears her shop is well outside the town limits and any extra territorial jurisdiction there might be. I’ve only heard of ETJ being used by police, not town council to impose their will.

  • Morty Sussman

    Sounds like this town is abusing its authority! If this business is not in the towns limits they have no jurisdiction and the lawsuit should be immediately tossed before legal fees mount. If it IS in town limits the town is using its authority prejudcially and subjectiviely, showing bias. This store btw is right next to Camp Lejuene where they blast all kinds of ordnance day and night! Unless this gun shop has been shooting in a careless way, this is most certainly anti gun harassment, and the store owners should turn to the NRA-ILA and GOA for assistance fighting this. The Myrtle Beach mayor just joined NYC Bloombergs Mayors Against Guns so this anti gun sentiment is spreading thru the South and taking root! Unless you want to end up like New Jersey it must be fought tooth and nail!

  • beach guy

    The town can have up to one mile of extraterritorial jurisdiction from its border through the incorporation statutes for the state. I would check with Onslow county to see if the jurisdiction of the town can extend past county lines since the town was formed in Pender county its jurisdiction should be confined to the county line(that would make sense anyway).
    I would then talk to the Onslow County Attorney and ask him what the precedence is for towns outside the county lines enforcing ordinances it their county. (they probably will not like it very much)
    If the town is suing her for an ordinance violation she should have been given some type of warning of a land use infraction prior to the suit. If not this is a case of the town acting in a manner that is discriminatory in nature. The bad part about it is the town has all the tax money they need to hire attorneys and the business owner is paying for everything out of pocket. If we had loser pays laws here then these little towns would have to think twice prior to suing anyone
    But long story short Keep up the good fight and do not let these carpet baggers push you around!

  • Beach Bum

    Can anyone say Town of Dorothy Royal a la countersuit?

  • Guest56

    None of you know what you are talking about. Her shop is in Surf City which is in Pender. The land being used as a pistol range was inside the Holly Ridge city limits which is in Onslow. The range was situated where live rounds were directed toward Hwy 50 and a subdivision across the street. How would you like half trained individuals firing over a low berm towards your home? Get your facts straight. I am a gun owner and a responsible shooter. I never fire a round toward any dwelling or highway. I have been to this range and the berm is no where near adequate in height. It is also facing the wrong direction.
    She should be commended for closing the range until safety can be addressed. She is being a good citizen and the town is looking out for its people. Firearms are not toys and firing them in practice should never be taken lightly.

  • Deputy25

    Hey Holly Ridge: got a task for your lawyers, how about suing gangs and thugs that shoot in town and leave the honest law abiding people alone. I hope they sue you back for your Communist overreach. Communism slowly creeping in peollee. WAKE UP!!!!”

  • Wilmington Observer

    The reporter states that the land “is technically in Onslow County”. There is no “technically” about it. The land either is or is not in Onslow County.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Don wrong

    WOW, I might not raise cattle but I can spot Bull S**t from a mile away and this is exactly what this is….stop the insanity!!

  • TruthSayer

    She needs to sue them for lost revenue, harassment, and take that city council of leftist scum to the bank! This is illegal, evil, leftist powermongering such as we had to endure with Sleazley, GovBev, and Cooper. These freedom hating trash are the problem with this state and this country, recall all of them and prosecute them for fraud! Ladies and gentlemen of the Town of Holly Ridge, it’s time to throw these losers out and get yourself some smart, Constitutionally-literate, honorable people to represent you, the ones who are doing it are as evil as the leftist trash they are copying in D.C.

  • Guest MJ Burg

    Leave this lady alone and go mind the town’s business. Her land is not inside the town limits and she is not harming anyone. In fact, her gun range is helping people to protect their own property by offering them a place to practice. Shame on Holly Ridge and anyone who is trying to stop Ms. Royal from using her property in this way. People shooting at her range are not wild thugs out to take advantage. They are local citizens who just want a place to practice their gun skills without breaking any laws.

  • Gus Fring

    You know, I have no idea who is right or wrong in this case, but after reading your idiotic comment, I know whose side I’m NOT on. Drop the talking points and rhetoric and show us some original thought instead of pushing your regressive agenda.

  • Thomas in Jacksonville

    The Town of Holly Ridge needs to worry about Holly Ridge. It sounds like maybe some firearms shop owner is not getting all the business they want so they are going to use harassment lawsuits to drive away competition. To Dorothy Royal, I say, counter sue for harassment.

  • NRA for the People

    Call the NRA and I’m sure they will help. I know they will.

  • GuestMan.

    The NRA is to the tea-baggers like the ACLU is to liberals.

  • Hogprint

    If all you post is true, and I have no reason to doubt your observation, then why didn’t the lazy news story produce those facts? I agree with your point that if the berm were too low and the range is pointing towards the highway then the owner did do the right thing by shutting down for the time being.

    Seems to me this story is lacking in serious facts from both the Town of Holly Ridge and the Owner of the rifle range.

  • Guest 87

    First of all, it doesn’t sound like you know what you are talking about. The rounds are not “directed at” Hwy 50 or the neighborhood on the other side of 50. The rounds are directed at targets on a plywood wall with a 20′ – 30′ of space before a thick berm behind it and lots of trees and thick woods behind it. Do you have any knowledge of ballistics and the the effect of impact on a solid surface, then traveling an additional distance before impact with a earthen berm? What is an adequate berm height? I’ve been to a nationally famous shooting academy with berms about the same height. What is your definition of “half trained individuals? I am always seeking more training and practice. I’ve shot many thousands of rounds in practice and training classes and I don’t think I will ever consider myself fully trained. Of course, I have the same attitude about everything. I will never know all there is to know. The day I assume I do is the day I need a healthy dose of reality. Is it in “the direction of Hwy 50 or the neighborhood? Yes, but for that matter, it’s in the direction of Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, and ….oh no, eventually Disney World!!!. By golly, you’re right! This range must be closed for the children’s safety at the Magic Kingdom. In case you haven’t guessed it, I like to point out absurdity by using absurdity.

  • JAB

    The author of the news article failed to gather facts on the article. The facts are that Ms. Royal never had a permit to operate a business or a firing range in Onslow County or Holly Ridge. In April, during the Holly Ridge Town Council meeting, over 20 residents living in the nearby neighborhood spoke against Ms. Royal’s rezoning and business-use request. We spoke out because of the inherent dangers of firing weapons towards homes and streets (the nearest home is about 500 feet away from the target berm). The target area of the berm runs along Highway 50. There are 5 subdivisions across the street plus the Pinewood Campground. And yes, people shoot towards the highway and those homes. Those were our concerns. This has nothing to do with Second Amendment rights.

  • Christina Anthony

    As a reporter working on deadline, I must tell a story as best as I can from the information I gather as quickly as possible. The Town of Holly Ridge refused to comment on the story, and so did its attorney. I looked over a copy of the lawsuit, and from there determined the appropriate questions to ask Royal. Video that I shot for the story shows what the range looks like, and its location. As always, I appreciate your feedback.


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