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Heartland Gun Club developers hold informational meeting for neighbors

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

After the city council approved the gun club ordinance in mid-September, neighbors were split about the decision.

"What I've heard from the neighbors at this point is appreciation for the "no alcohol on the premises", but also a strong preference for that there be a distance requirement for that gun club," Bruce Blatti, a concerned neighbor, said.

Because of the new ordinance, the Heartland Gun Club's developers had to restart the permit approval process.

One of the first steps in that process was an informational meeting for neighbors to learn about the club.

"Give an overview of what the business is, what the business model is, performance standards that we're going to adhere to and try to answer the questions as best we can," Greg Moore, one of the developers, said of his intentions for the night.

The most important question on neighbors mind was regarding alcohol.

We asked to make sure no alcohol going to be allowed on the premises and if it was going to be blatantly obvious and Moore said that would be correct.

However neighbors said they don't trust them 100 percent and will be monitoring the business closely. 

Another concern was the upper limit on the size of ammunition used at the range.

The developers said the range was rated to handle up to 50 caliber rounds but intend to only allow up to .30-06, a popular hunting round.

But again, neighbors said their answer was not definitive enough, saying using the word "intend" was too open-ended.

Many other questions neighbors posed went unanswered, but the developers argued they weren't pertinent to the conversation.

"Yeah I think they're probably out of the scope of what we were trying to accomplish tonight," Moore said.

At one point neighbors asked why the location was picked and the response was "because we liked it."

Needless to say neighbors weren't happy with the response, and await the membership guidelines eagerly to find out just how safe the club will be.

To assuage neighbors of the distance issue, developers used the example of the Osseo Gun Club, north of the Twin-Cities.

It is across the street from homes and less than 250 feet from a school, the developers say that there have been no complaints.

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