CINCINNATI -- Some parents in a southwestern Ohio city are in an uproar over plans to open an indoor gun range just 100 yards away from two elementary schools.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the proposed gun range in Loveland is especially controversial in light of last week's massacre at a Connecticut school that included the deaths of 20 children.
The range is proposed for what is now a vacant storefront near Loveland Primary School, which has about 500 students in the first and second grades, and Loveland Elementary School, which has about 700 third- and fourth-graders.
Concerned parents spoke out about the plan at a Loveland City Council meeting this week, but city leaders say the range is legally permitted at the proposed site.
"My concern is we keep our children and our community safe," said Valerie Kincaid, 44, who has two children in the school district, adding that she grew up around guns but objects to one being so close to the schools.
She said a more appropriate spot would be at an industrial complex or out in the country.
"I guess it raises the question just because you legally can do something, maybe you should ask the deeper question: Is it the right thing to do at that location?" she said.
Assistant City Manager Gary Vidmar said that while there is nothing in the city's zoning code to stop the range from being put that close to a school, the developer involved has not yet submitted a formal proposal.
"The business owner may consider another location and may consider other options but that is by his choice at this point," Vidmar said.
The developer, Steve Ling, did not respond to a request for comment.
Vidmar pointed out that in 2005, Loveland residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of allowing indoor shooting ranges within the city limits.
No vote from the city council on the matter is scheduled.
Since the law already allows it, any proposal for a gun shooting range would be presented to the Loveland Planning and Zoning Commission for review and would be subject to safety regulations, he said.
Heather Higdon, a spokeswoman for Loveland schools, declined to comment on the issue.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com