Mayor Muoio Speaks Out Against Gun Range – Calls For Code Changes
“I think for people to be going to and from that location, so near a park and so near a neighborhood filled with children and young people…this is concerning.”
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio
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(West Palm Beach, FL) – Citing concerns that a park where children play sits within a few hundred feet of a proposed gun range, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio today publicly denounced the idea of allowing the range to open there.
During her weekly media briefing, Mayor Muoio said this case has exposed the urgent need to make significant changes to the city codes. Specifically, the Mayor said the code must take into account factors such as the proximity to public parks, not just the distance between a business and homes.
“I don’t like this gun range in our city. I certainly don’t like having it being proposed so close to residential areas, and so close to a park,” said Muoio.
In addition to announcing her opposition, Mayor Muoio said she is going to push for changes to the city’s codes and rules that leave open the possibility of a gun range located next to a public park.
“I don’t think this is a good place for a gun range. I am concerned about the way our code reads in that parks are not considered as we’re looking at the distance between a facility like this and houses and neighborhoods. We also should be looking at the distance to parks, and right now that is not in our code,” said Muoio.
The city’s Planning Department has recommended allowing the gun range. Mayor Muoio complimented the planning staff for their work, citing their years of experience and professional certifications, but said it’s not unusual for her to disagreed with their recommendations.
“They have to make an impartial and professional decision as to what to recommend and what not to recommend [based on the existing code]….I look at it from a policy perspective and from what I and ultimately our Commission would like our city to look like,” said Mayor Muoio.
Mayor Muoio stressed that her comments won’t change the process. The gun range case is expected to be heard by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. It will not go before either the Mayor or City Commission for approval.