WASHINGTON CITY – Can a domestic violence shelter and a gun range succeed side by side? They’re about to find out in Washington City. The city council approved the building of an indoor shooting range, Tuesday, reversing the decision of the city’s zoning commission.
Dixie Gun Worx owners planned to build the range at their facility on Telegraph Street since they moved in earlier this year. Their original permit was denied, but the gun shop owners appealed to the Washington City Council. After public meetings and careful deliberation, the council voted 4-1 to allow the gun range.
“The city code allows conditional use permits if the applicant can show that they can mitigate any negative circumstances that might result,” says Councilman Thad Seegmiller.
Seegmiller said the ordinance specifically states the city “shall” grant the permit if those conditions are met. The sight and sound of guns was the main concern for the neighboring Erin Kimball Foundation, a transitional home for domestic violence victims.
Seegmiller said gun shop owners brought extensive work to show those concerns could all be resolved.
Attempts to contact the director of the Erin Kimball Foundation were unsuccessful by news time. In previous interviews with Fox 13 news, Director Sue Kimball has said her opposition is not about Second Amendment rights, or the rights of Dixie Gun Worx to grow their business.
she’s mainly concerned with the emotional recovery of her clients and what the presence of guns would do to their mental state.
But Dixie Gun Worx CEO Chris Michel said they don’t feel like the two organizations were ever on opposite sides and hopes they can work together with their neighbors toward a common goal.
“I can’t say enough how much I’m thankful for what they do for the victims themselves,” Michel said of the foundation. “[We hope they] take some of our classes. We would love to do that for anybody that’s been that kind of a victim, for free. Some of the classes we’re going to be able to help them with are self defense, home defense, rape prevention.”
Now that the permit has been approved, Michel said they hope to have the indoor gun range complete within a few months.
To read the entire Washington City Council ruling click the click below: