Council considers indoor gun range ordinance

06/03/2014 8:11 AM

06/03/2014 8:12 AM

A Keller resident has asked the Keller City Council to give him a shot at operating an indoor gun range in the city.

At the May 26 meeting, the Council considered an ordinance requested by Cody Line that would authorize such as facility. The idea for a range originally was presented in November.

Line told the Council that he wants to open a high-tech gun range with plenty of features to ensure safety.

During meetings with the Planning & Zoning Committee, it was suggested that the gun range could be located within retail, commercial, industrial park and light industrial districts, as well as a recommendation for the Town Center area.

But, some Keller residents and Council members spoke about their concerns over locating a gun range in some parts of the city, especially in or near Town Center.

“There’s a student proximity to the gun range because of schools in walking distance of the Town Center zoning,” Councilman Tom Cawthra said. “I know those kids come over to the Keller Pointe and a variety of places, and I would be very concerned if that became an issue.”

Councilwoman Debbie Bryan said she thought the range would be more appropriate away from Town Center and in a commercial or light industrial district.

“I personally just can’t really envision signs that say ‘Indoor Gun Range’ in Town Center,” she said. “That seems to me a little odd, period. I don’t think this would fly in any neighboring cities. I don’t see it driving down a strip with restaurants.”

Line said the range would be for small arms fire only and preferred it to be on State Hwy 377.

“[The Council gets] to oversee every step I take from this point. I didn’t even request for it to be in Town Center,” Line said.

“I’m an old country boy, so I say scratch through Town Center and keep it going,” Line said.

Councilman Bill Dodge said the facility would need to be in an area with protected parking to prevent the theft of weapons from patrons’ cars.

Resident Bill Crow told Council about his concern over safety. He told a story about an incident involving one of his friends, a Texas Highway Patrol trooper supervisor,

“He and his son were accomplished shooters and were in a controlled gun range when his son went to the snack bar and was killed by a stray bullet. I think it’s dangerous in Town Center and even with professionals who are involved and know the most about this, accidents happen.”

Line said safety was a major emphasis for the facility.

“The engineering controls are advanced technology,” he said. “You won’t even hear the pops of the guns.”

Keller currently has no gun ranges and the closest is in Fort Worth, Community Development Director Tom Elgin said.

Southlake, Colleyville, Roanoke, North Richland Hills and Grapevine do not have defined codes for gun ranges, but Colleyville and North Richland Hills allow them with a Specific Use Permit.

The discussion and public hearing were tabled until the June 3 meeting for further discussion and public input. Council will continue talking with Line about the best option for a possible range.

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