CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A potential gun range is causing some disagreements in Canfield.
On Wednesday, Canfield City Council welcomed the public for opinions on the possibility of an indoor gun range.
Customers of gun store Iron Sights Armory asked if it was going to add an indoor range.
“Our business has continuously grown and residents coming in have continuously asked for the possibility of us doing a range,” owner Debbie Parisi said.
Right now, that’s illegal within city limits — you can’t shoot a gun unless it’s in self-defense. Otherwise, you could be charged with a fourth-degree felony.
Some people say the indoor gun range would be too close to a school.
“My opposition is not to gun ownership. It’s opposition to having a shooting range in close proximity to our schools and to the bike trail,” Ashley Kanotz said.
“The proposal of putting a gun range within the city limits, in my opinion, is too close to a school regardless of where it is within the city,” John Schuler said.
Iron Sights Armory’s counter-argument refers to a gun range in Austintown. The Training Range on Mahoning Avenue sits less than a mile away from Austintown Middle School.
“Yet there hasn’t been a direct correlation that shows any violence has increased because of that gun range being located near them,” Eric Parisi said.
The next major worry was the economic impact on the community. Resident Frank Micchia said the range itself will boost Canfield’s economy.
“If approved and built, would easily cost over $200,000. That’s a sizable investment.”
Some think it will end up hurting the economy.
“The time and age in which we live in now, we understand that divisive issues such as this will lead small businesses or local businesses not to come to this community,” Pat Sculli said.
Iron Sights Armory’s interest in an indoor gun range gave council insight.
“We would entertain it if it did come in front of us,” said Council President John Morvay.
Morvay was the only councilperson to give his opinion. He said he wasn’t completely against the idea at this time.