Osseo superintendent concerned about shooting range and gun store opening near high school

The new gun range will be located just blocks away from Osseo High School.
The new gun range will be located just blocks away from Osseo High School.

Late last month, Chris and Jeanine Williamson received final approval from the Osseo City Council to open an indoor shooting range and gun store in a commercial property that has been vacant for about a decade.

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But prior to receiving approval, the new business's proposed two-lot location in a largely residential part of the town just hundreds of feet away from Osseo High School near Main Street drew concern from some in the community, including Osseo Area School Superintendent Kate Maguire.

"My preference would be that it would be located along another road some place," Maguire told WCCO, citing concerns about so many guns being located so close to the high school. "In maintaining a safe and healthy work environment, the presence of weapons always makes that job more complex and difficult."

But the City Council wasn't persuaded by arguments like the ones made by Maguire and others who expressed concern about possible decreases in property values, and ended up giving final approval to the business.

"The building is constructed basically to federal law enforcement training standards. Its 8 to 10 inches of cement block," Kevin Rebman, president of the city's economic development authority, told MPR, adding that he's also confident firearms will be transported into and out of the facility safely. "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."

In a Facebook post, the Williamsons said construction will begin late this month, with a grand opening for the shooting range and gun shop tentatively set for October.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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