Farmers Branch says no to gun range near school

- A suburban city council said no to a controversial plan to put an indoor gun range next to a private school.

Parents packed Farmers Branch City Hall Tuesday night for a council meeting. Most were opposed to the idea of a range 320 feet away from The Westwood School.

“Would you send your child to a school 300 feet, 400 feet from a gun range? If the answer is no, you have no option but to turn down this application,” said Tony Greenhall, head of the high school for Westwood School.

“This is a state of the art firearms training facility. That’s going to increase the value of the property. We’re not going to have people in the parking lot walking around with guns,” argued Lance Gale, vice president for Abrasive Blast Systems.

Range developers pointed out the walls would have been made from thick concrete and should contain sound and bullets. They said the noise would be minimal and promised to be a place where law enforcement would hang out.

But ultimately the council sided with the parents, many who said they would pull their kids out of the school if the range was allowed to move into the neighborhood.

“We are very excited about the vote. We are excited to be doing what we’re supposed to be doing, which is educating the kids,” said Heather Lourcey, head of The Westwood School.

The school does have plans to move to another bigger location. However, leaders said even if it did, there would still some kind of school facility there at that site.

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