STEDMAN, N.C. — The CEO of TigerSwan hosted several state officials Thursday in a continued effort to gain support for his business. James Reese is in the middle of fighting a lawsuit that could shut his firearms training facility down.
In February, TigerSwan filed a petition to the state Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals ruled the facility does not qualify as a school, and could be shut down due to zoning laws. The company trains military and law enforcement but also has a public shooting range.
"I think we are sending the wrong signal to people in North Carolina that want to come and do business here. We don't want to tell people to come to our state and do business and then they will have all of these regulations and it be burdensome to do your job and for it to grow," said Cumberland County Sen. Wesley Meredith.
Other local leaders also worry the potential shutdown could have an effect on the economic future of Cumbeland County.
"Their termination of existence here would send a very strong signal to all of those other defense related companies that we are trying to recruit to the community that it is not easy, not feasible to do business here in Cumberland County. And it is," said President Fayetteville Chamber Doug Peters.
TigerSwan CEO James Reese hopes tours like Thursday's help them in their fight. Reese said they are doing everything they can to show they are operating a safe facility, complying with all state and local regulations.
"We want people to understand that when we started this project two years ago, we went around North Carolina and we have not tried to influence anyone, everything that was done, we were told we could do here," said Reese.
Reese said the panel of Supreme Court judges could make their decision by July if they agree to hear the case.