NEW VIDEO: Mayor Muoio Proposes Tougher Rules for Gun Ranges
July 15, 2014
(West Palm Beach, FL) – Today, under current law, someone can open a public gun range next to a city park where families and children relax and play. In fact, a year ago that’s exactly what was expected to happen.
The plan last summer to open a gun range across from Howard Park in West Palm Beach focused the spotlight on a section of city law that many demanded be changed. One of those was West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.
Today, Mayor Muoio is fulfilling her pledge by putting forward just such a change in the law.
Under the Mayor’s proposal, a gun range would need to be a minimum of 1,000 feet away from any public park. Right now, the law only requires a gun range to be 1,000 feet away from a residence. If a public park happens to fall within that 1,000 feet between the gun range and the residence, nothing in the law would prevent the range from opening.
“Last year when I first learned of the proposed gun range and the fact that it could open so close to one of our parks I said there needed to be a change in the rules,” said Mayor Muoio. “This isn’t about restricting the public’s ability to own or use guns. It is entirely about where we as a community believe gun ranges should be allowed to open in our city, and how close we think they should be to our public spaces.”
The Mayor’s proposed change in city code will not affect the case that attracted so much attention last summer. In fact, the owner of that property has since abandoned plans to open a public gun range and has since shifted to opening a gun school. The school would have one lane for firing weapons as part of classes and the facility would not be open to the general public.
In addition to beefing up the 1,000-foot rule, the Mayor is also proposing changes that would force future proposed gun ranges to go through a more public approval process than in the past. The new process would afford residents and all members of the public more opportunity to voice their opinions during the approval process.
Mayor Muoio’s proposal goes to the city’s Planning Board Tuesday evening. From there, it will go to the full city commission for a final decision.