A plan to build a gun shop and shooting range in Osseo has sparked controversy in the northwestern Minneapolis suburb because of its proximity to a school.
The Osseo planning commission has given preliminary approval for the planned $3 million development in the city's downtown. The development would be built on vacant city land and put the property back on the tax rolls.
But it's also located less than 500 feet from Osseo High School, prompting concern from school officials who say they are worried that the proximity of weapons potentially increases risk of incidents or raises alarm among students and staff at the high school.
"I certainly understand the economic impact of a business in town and the vitality that could add to the community," said Kate Maguire, superintendent of Osseo Area Schools. "Really our only concern is the physical location, the physical proximity to the schools."
City officials say they expect that firearms will be transported appropriately to and from the facility. They also say they believe that the firing range will be built to prevent any stray gunfire from getting out of the building.
"The building is constructed basically to federal law enforcement training standards. Its 8 to 10 inches of cement block," said Kevin Rebman, president of the city's economic development authority. "There's steel all the way around and all of the shells and all the bullets go into a trap that actually captures the ammo. There is no risk of a bullet leaving the facility."