Ramsey gun range near child care center triggers controversy - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ramsey gun range near child care center triggers controversy

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RAMSEY, Minn. (KMSP) -

A duel is starting in Ramsey following the City Council's decision to give preliminary approval to a new indoor gun range that would be about 50 feet away from a child care center.

City leaders say they've held public hearings about the safety and traffic concerns, but that's little consolation to the business owner who has spent two years running Little Me Child Care Center.

Amber Brick has a big problem with the business that could become her next-door neighbor.

"A little surprised," she told Fox 9 News. "I didn't think it would be something that the city would even entertain being that children are so close to it."

The Total Defense gun store offers conceal and carry classes a few miles down the road, but the store doesn't have a location where customers can shoot their weapons. That's why the owners want to move into an 18.000-square-foot building that used to be a grocery store.

Brick, however, worries about the safety of the 40 to 50 children in her care.

"Our play area is right outside between the two buildings," she explained. "According to the reports I've seen, there will be popping noises. The children will be able to hear.

Yet, city leaders say the demand for a shooting range is growing and the owners have taken steps to address safety concerns by limiting the range to hand guns and building double cement walls to keep slugs and noise inside.

"It comes down to people who want to get educated and have a safe place to shoot weapons," Police Chief James Way said. "Rather have them here than going behind homes, which we've had in the past."

Meanwhile, Brick has started a petition to get Total Defense to take aim at another vacant building.

"There's always room for error when you put kids so close to guns," she contends. "The most logical way to prevent any accidents from happening is not to put a gun range next to a child care center."

Brick also plans to meet with both Way and the City Council on Thursday to address her concerns.

One of the owners of Total Defense did not want to go on camera but did say they plan to make the location safe for everyone. If the City Council does grant final approval, the owners could begin their remodel by the middle of March.

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