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Evanston Approves Gun Ranges, With Restrictions

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Jun 25, 2015 3:05PM

The city of Evanston may have cleared the way for a shooting range in the city, though officials have warned that such a business was not welcome in the area.

There are currently no shooting ranges in Evanston, but last year, an Illinois appeals court ruled that outright bans on ranges were illegal. In the case, the village of Lincolnwood denied a request by the gun shop Shore Galleries, Inc. to add a shooting range to their store, saying it did not meet the village's definition of "recreational use." The owner of the shop appealed, and the court ruled in his favor, noting that shooting is an "Olympic and collegiate sport," according to the Chicago Tribune.

Since the city could not outright ban gun ranges, Evanston officials instead approved a plan by a 9 to 0 vote that would permit shooting ranges only in certain industrial zones and not within 350 feet of residential zones, schools, daycare facilities or public parks, according to the Tribune. A map distributed by the city showed only six places in the area actually eligible for gun ranges. The ordinance also authorizes the ranges to offer gun rentals and sales, but only for use inside the gun range itself.

After the vote, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said, "I wish we could outlaw guns, but we can't, so we're doing the best we can," according to the Tribune. "There is not a market for this product," said Alderman Don Wilson. "It's important for people in the community to let the business community know what the market is, or isn't, for (a gun range)"