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Proposed Gun Shop In Niles Faces Opposition

Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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(CBS) – Normally, a new business coming to town would be welcomed for adding to the economy.

But that’s maybe not the case when it’s a gun range and it’s going up near a school.

Four schools are close to the site of a proposed gun shop and range in suburban Niles.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.

Roberta Goldberg can see New Hope Academy from the spot that could soon house a gun shop and firing range — if Niles officials approve the plan.

“I thought that that was just a recipe for tragedy,” she says.

Goldberg and others say the gun shop is a bad idea not just because of its proximity to New Hope — a school for children with emotional disabilities — but because it would also be within walking distance of Niles West and Central high schools and Orchard Academy.

Jennifer Lande is ready to fight, partly because her two children will soon attend Niles West.

“It’s going to weaken the safety of the schools,” she says.

New Hope’s director wrote a letter to Niles’ mayor and trustees, too, stating “the safety of our students is greatly compromised.”

Mayor Andrew Przybylo says he doesn’t support the gun shop but says it’s not that simple.

“We tried to do the right thing in order to make it allowable, legally, but restrict it,” he says.

In other words, a move to potentially avoid a court battle.

Chicago businessman Myles P. Cunningham and partner would open the proposed firing range. Cunningham is on record saying it would be a state-of-the-art, safe facility.

He was not available for further comment Monday.

Niles trustees are scheduled to vote on the plan at a meeting Tuesday night.

The mayor says despite the outcome tomorrow, he plans to push for an ordinance stiffening penalties for gun owners who fail to secure their guns in their homes.