Reporting Bob Roberts
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LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (CBS) — A firing range in north suburban Lincolnwood appeared on the verge of winning village board approval two weeks ago, but now, the proposal may be mortally wounded.
When Village Board members deemed Shore Galleries’ firing range proposal appropriate for the community at their Sept. 5 meeting, Trustee Lawrence Elster was on vacation. Now, he’s back, and he changed the focus of the conversation – from Second Amendment rights, safety and noise abatement to whether Shore’s move to a largely vacant industrial park would attract or deter other business.
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Attorney Jeremy Margolis represented Shore and argued the firing range would be a boon, and would make the surrounding area the “safest spot in town.” He said gangbangers and thieves would not dare enter the area, because most of those who would use the firing range would be law enforcement personnel – police and federal agents.
“Are we going to have rigorous, rigorous adherence to every applicable state and federal law? One hundred percent,” he said.
Elster did not take issue, but said locating the range in a largely-vacant industrial park would create a “negative image” that Lincolnwood would be hard put to overcome – and send existing and potential tenants scurrying elsewhere.
Suddenly, the trustees voted 4-1 to order village staff to draft a resolution denying Shore’s request. The resolution will be put to a vote at the board’s next meeting Oct. 3, when all trustees are expected to be present.
Trustee Renee Sprogis-Marohn missed the meeting because of the Jewish holidays.
Shore has operated a gun store at 3318 W. Devon Av. in Lincolnwood since 1956, and is grandfathered into the suburb’s zoning at its current address. The store attempted to move once before, but was turned down in a vote that Village President Gerald Turry said was “stampeded” in part by public opposition.
The new location, in a former factory at 6950 Lincolnwood Dr., would include both a gun store and a firing range of up to 16 lanes – eight lanes for pistol practice and eight for rifles.