Watch CBS News

Neighbors push back against proposal for gun shop, shooting range in Long Grove

Plans for gun range bring controversy to Long Grove
Plans for gun range bring controversy to Long Grove 02:53

LONG GROVE, Ill. (CBS) -- A plan to build an indoor shooting range and gun store in northwest suburban Long Grove has neighbors on edge.

As CBS 2's Marissa Perlman reported Monday, the Long Grove village manager said he has received hundreds of emails about the proposal for a Range USA shop – and an online petition against the business now has more than 1,000 signatures.

The Range USA would be built in a space behind a Menards store. The 15,000 square-foot building would have 20 shootings lanes, retail, and classrooms.

It is the proximity to nearby schools and sporting fields where kids play that has some neighbors on edge.

"They're out here having a great time, and the thought that they are going to be right next to a store that is selling assault weapons – and people are going to be walking in and out of a range carrying their weapons?" said Elise Hauptman.  "That terrifies me."

The plan for the Range USA is a terrifying thought to Hauptman, with Moms Demand Action. The proposed gun range that would sell assault weapons could be built near a kids' soccer field and across the street from a preschool.

"The Village of Long Grove is not zoned to sell firearms," Hauptman said. "Why change that now?"

Range USA is proposing to build 1.7 acres at the site just north of Lake Cook Road. The property is indeed zoned for certain retail uses – and gun sales and a shooting range are not among them.

Now the developer, Compton Addy out of Ohio, is requesting village officials change the zoning rules to allow the business.

But for this community, some call it bad timing.

"The timing was obviously, just could not have been worse -- given what our community; our neighbors have just gone through," said Scott Bauer, a former school board member and longtime Long Grove resident. "To open up a gun range, literally within blocks and miles of dozens of schools, I think is completely irresponsible."

Neighbors concerned about planned gun shop, range in Long Grove 02:13

Scott Bauer's son, Brett Bauer, grew up in Long Grove but now lives in Washington, D.C. He launched a petition against the shooting range and gun store – and hopes his community will get involved.

"I just firmly believe that nobody, for any reason, needs an AR-15 or anything like an assault-style weapon on the streets – especially in a community like ours," he said. "My roots are right there, so to me, this definitely impacts me directly and indirectly. The least we can do is look at how close this proposed location is to the nearest school. I mean, that's like ridiculous to me."

Naperville houses one of the six Range USA locations across the state. That suburban city is now considering its own ban on the commercial sale of semiautomatic rifles.

In Mundelein, another gun shop and range was in discussion for being built – but it got turned down. The developer pulled out days after the Highland Park parade massacre on July 4th.

We also spoke with employees of a locally-owned gun store in Naperville. Those employees say responsible. Gun owners need the practice.

In a statement, Village Manager Greg Jackson said Range USA is entitled to due process – and at this point, the commissioners have made no recommendation to the village board either way.

But those we spoke with on Monday said they will keep pressing the board to keep the status quo.

"It's just not a great place," said Hauptman. "There's a reason zoning and permitting exists, and it's to keep communities safe."

We reached out to the developer for comment, as well as Range USA – but have not heard back.

Meanwhile, the village is hoping for more input from the public. That discussion continues in early September.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.