City Reverses Decision on Women's Shooting Range

The Elgin, Illinois city council took another vote on the measure to allow the range to operate.
The Elgin, Illinois city council took another vote on the measure to allow the range to operate. Jean Hedstrom of Skokie, left, and Debbie Strauss of Elgin are among opponents of a plan to open Fox Valley Shooting Club in Elgin. photo from dailherald.comweb photo

As we reported last week, the city council in Elgin, Illinois voted against a measure that would have made way for a new gun club with a shooting range geared toward female shooters, after some residents and local school employees offered up some rather bizarre objections.

Now, the city council has reversed its decision, thanks to Councilman Toby Shaw, who previously voted no but took advantage of a provision that allowed him to resurrect the issue at Wednesday’s meeting.

Since the initial decision, the makeup of the city council changed, according to this story from dailyherald.com, which says Councilman Corey Dixon replaced Councilman John Prigge due to an April election.

Additionally, councilman Rich Dunne was absent for the initial vote, but was present Wednesday night. The council approved the plan with a 5-4 vote, the story says.

Shaw changed his vote saying, “I viewed it as doing my job and giving all parties a chance (to vote).”

Mark Glavin, who is opening the new business, says the range will cater to women, a growing market in the gun and shooting industry, and feature a “family friendly” environment.

Some residents again spoke out against the forthcoming gun range, the story says.

Lucille Daly, who lives nearby, said allowing the gun range to open means its customers “will receive their liberty and justice…but where is it for all those homeowners who have invested their money and are raising their families in that areas? It’s no place for a gun range.”

The proposed facility will feature an indoor shooting range with no outdoor component, but apparently, many residents were concerned with potential noise pollution, believing they would be able to hear gunshots from the indoor range, even across a highway.

Many of the people who spoke at the initial meeting, in fact, displayed a lack of understanding about the very basic premise of an indoor shooting range, some saying that students from a school for disabled children across a highway could potentially wander over and be shot, and others saying they would be hearing gun shots all day.

Jeff Jones was one of these residents who said his concerns about safety and noise pollution were alleviated at an open house since held by Galvin. "He did alleviate my concerns," he said in the story.

Conditions of allowing the range to open include not displaying any merchandise in windows facing McLean Boulevard, no sale of alcohol, and signs stating that parking off-premises is prohibited, the story says.

Dunne said in the story he was concerned about a potential lawsuit being brought against the city, since similar suits in Chicago were won by the plaintiffs.

"If we were found in the wrong, we would have to pay the legal fees, potentially, and damages to the plaintiffs," he said in the story.