Ramsey parents protest proposed gun range near day care - KMSP-TV

Ramsey parents protest proposed gun range near day care

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RAMSEY, Minn. (KMSP) -

Before the Ramsey City Council gathered to consider a plan to build an indoor shooting range within yards of a child care center, parents began assembling to protest the plan.

Many of the parents who took up protest signs insist they are not anti-gun, but they don't care for idea of having a gun-oriented business be the new neighbor next door to where their children play.

"I don't want to see their great business lose customers like myself due to a gun club next door," John Hood said. "Gun clubs are great, just not next to the kids."

Hood has 3-year-old and 4-year-old daughters that attend Little Me Child Care Center, and he worries that letting a shooting range move into the old supermarket building brings unnecessary risks.

"There's nap times at daycares; there's a playground less than 50 feet away," he said. "There's always going to be that risk. Things do happen. That's my biggest concern."

Hood was among the overflow crowd that packed the Ramsey City Council meeting on Tuesday night before the final vote on whether to approve the move -- but Total Defense Gun Shop had its own supporters too.

Maria and Wayne Buccholz explained that the owners planned to build a concrete structure to keep both sound and bullets inside the range, and they don't feel that gun owners should have to drive miles away when there's an empty building in their community.

"People get the misconception that they are going to have people walking around with guns in the parking lot," Maria Buccholz said. "That's not the case. They are going to carry their weapons in cases or holsters. Won't go off unless someone's hand is on it. It's just over-hype, as far as I'm concerned."

Wayne Buccholz added that even though the business will be nearby, he doubts they'll have customers during similar hours.

"The day care operates during the daytime," he said. "Busiest time for a gun range is from 5 to midnight and weekends."

Yet, those sentiments don't alleviate the fears parents like Hood have. Rather, he says that if the shooting range moves in, he may be forced to take his children out.

"When I drop my kids off in the morning, I expect to have them in a safe place and I don't want to get that devastating call one day," he said.

An overflow crowd packed the City Council meeting, and in the end, city leaders voted 5-2 to allow the gun range to move next to the daycare.

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