(Received: 07/24/2014, Posted: 07/25/2014)


ISRA Press Release:

Reason Prevails As Niles, Illinois Village Council Gives Approval To Gun Shop/Target Range Proposal

CHICAGO, July 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

Northwest suburban shooting sports enthusiasts breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday night as the Niles Village Council voted to approve a special use permit that would allow a retail firearm store and range to open in an industrial area of town.

Tuesday night's action marked the third time that the shop/range proposal had been voted on since first being advanced earlier this year. Initially, the shop/range proposal was approved by the Niles Planning Board and sent along to the full village council for final approval. At that time, the Niles Village Council felt that more research should be conducted by the planning board into the safety and suitability of such a facility. The proposal was voted on once again and approved by the planning board on July 7, 2014. Tuesday's vote by the full village council was the final leg in the approval process.

Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo was gracious enough to suspend protocol to allow for a public comment period prior to the council vote on the permit application. During that comment period, dozens of supporters of the shop/range proposal testified about the beneficial aspects of establishing such a facility in Niles. By contrast, a raucous group of facility opponents contributed nothing more to the discussion than a constant stream of attacks on the character, credibility and qualifications of those who support the facility. These attacks were orchestrated by the Skokie chapter of the Bloomberg Moms - a New York City based gun control group.

In the end, the special use permit garnered a majority of trustee votes, thus paving the way for construction and opening of the shop and range.

"It would be an understatement to say that the ISRA is pleased with the village council vote," commented ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. "We look forward to partnering with the operators of the new shop and range to help bring high-value training and competitive shooting opportunities to the near northwest suburbs. Such opportunities have been severely lacking in recent years and we're confident that the village council vote marks the opening of a new chapter for the shooting sports in suburban Chicago."

"I would also like to applaud the unwavering support for the facility offered by local firearm owners," continued Pearson. "Sitting through many hours of redundant and often heated testimony is not easy. I think it's also important to commend the restraint shown by our people when subjected to the in-your-face insults and personal attacks that have become the hallmark of the Bloomberg Moms group."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.