Indoor firing range looks likely for Green Island

Posted at: 02/19/2013 3:31 PM
Updated at: 02/19/2013 11:58 PM
By: Jessica Layton

Green Island - Lynn Fraim admits she doesn't know all the facts and figures about the safety of shooting ranges. She just knows the plan for the village she and her three kids call home doesn't feel right.

"It terrifies me. I would like to be able to welcome this to our community but I have concerns," said Fraim.

She concerned about the kids at a nearby school. Or a possible break-in at the gun range.

But the owner of the gun shop, and the future indoor firing range seemed to have addressed any concerns by members of the village board. So much that the group gave the ok for Les McDermott to move forward with plans to open at 19 Lower Hudson Avenue. McDermott is encouraging people who are worried to come see for it for themselves.

He says there will be a buzz-in system for every person entering the building. Every person who walks through the door will be required to take a 4 hour safety course on any gun they want to shoot.

Retired law enforcement will be on duty as range safety officers. Only customers of the shop, like Paul Piche, will have access to the shooting range.

"I think if anything what we're doing is educating the public, as opposed to leaving them ignorant and as I said, putting them in an unsafe scenario," said Piche.

McDermott also won the support of the mayor. Who admits, even a year ago, she wasn't in favor of a gun shop in her village.

"People are going to have guns and if we don't give them a safe place to use them I get more concerned that an innocent person ends up dead," said Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan.

The Planning Board still needs to consider a special use permit for the indoor range.

They'll do that at the next meeting March 18th.

McDermott is moving his current gun shop, Veterans Gun Depot, to the new location up the road on Lower Hudson Avenue and hopes to open the new store by the beginning of April.