Holland City Officials Reviewing Plan Of Indoor Public Gun Range

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jan 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-17 19:23:04-05

HOLLAND,Mich.,– The plan for the City of Holland’s first indoor public gun range is moving forward. While some in the neighborhood have expressed concern, the city says it is looking over the details very closely before any decisions are made.

Ben Phillips co-owner of Bullet Hole Firearms and Training on E. Eighth St. in Holland is expanding; they have bought the rest of the building and will provide CCW classes and expand their showroom. They’re now looking to build a 6 lane indoor shooting range.

“A key factor for the community is that these people have a place to train and that’s our major goal here is to give them an avenue and a place to go,” said Phillips.

Phillips says they sell upwards of 500 guns a year and sees the need first hand for this range. “The state mandates they shoot at least once a year, 50 rounds. The point is we don’t want them shooting in their garage, in their wood lots or in city limits which is illegal.”

While there are other private ranges in nearby townships this would be the first indoor public one in the City of Holland. The city’s director of Community and Neighborhood Services, Phil Meyer, says most people seemed in support at this week’s city council meeting but if changes are made their focus is on doing it right.

 Meyer says they will be looking at zoning and standards for such a facility. They would also have to change the language of the ordinance that outlaws the discharge of firearms under certain exceptions, like for peace officers.

“The city council is concerned because we don’t know who the next person might be coming in that might be doing something like this, so they’re interested in making sure we have our ordinances in place,” said Meyer.

The city of Holland did receive three letters from nearby residents after sending out a site plan review.

While one person was in support, another woman who lives nearby said ‘I hardly find it fitting for a neighborhood, especially with a school a half mile away.’ Another resident said he wasn’t opposed but had concerns about bullet safety, lead and noise

Phillips is confident in the plans and says safety is their number one goal, he says they have professional equipment and are working with range designers that have built similar ranges across the country.

Meyer says they’ll also be looking at other communities that already have these public indoor ranges, to see how their regulations work. Wednesday the city council referred things to the planning commission, their next meeting will be in February and in the meantime they will draft proposed amendments.