Atlanta to Vote on Ordinance to Restrict Shooting Ranges

The owner of Stoddard’s Guns thought he was on target to open a new gun range in an empty warehouse in the Loring Heights neighborhood of northwest Atlanta.

But a new proposal, that would limit where a gun store could open, could kill Stoddard’s plans.

The proposal, introduced by councilwoman Yolanda Adrean, would update an existing city ordinance and restrict gun ranges from locating within 800 feet of number of sites, including residential neighborhoods, schools and houses of worship.

The proposal is just fine with homeowners like Mazie Wiepper, who lives around the corner from the proposed site for the gun range, right in the backyard of Atlantic Station.

Wiepper worries that a shooting range would put her community at risk.

“It’s just scary to have people with firearms right in your neighborhood,” Wiepper said.

Robert Thacker also lives in Loring Heights. He said a gun range could actually make the neighborhood safer.

“Great idea. They train security people, they train police officers,” Thacker said.

Michael Halbreich, who owns Stoddard’s Guns, called the measure “unfair.”

“It’s extremely restrictive,” Halbreich said. “What it does is places so onerous restrictions that it makes it virtually impossible for anyone to open and operate this type of business in the city of Atlanta.”

Adrean said she is responding to neighbors concerns.

“It’s just a common sense legislation that you don’t want to have a shooting range in someone’s backyard or next to a daycare or a church or a school,” Adrean said.

The measure moves to the full council, who could vote on the proposal as early as Monday.

Stoddard’s Guns could still open – the store could be grandfathered in because they applied before Adrean introduced her proposal.


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