Lenexa’s gun range plan clears first hurdle at planning commission

Range USA wants to build a shooting range and commercial store off Santa Fe Trail Drive near Interstate 35. Image via Lenexa Planning Commission documents.

An indoor shooting range with retail gun sales and classrooms for gun safety instruction cleared its first hurdle with the Lenexa Planning Commission.

Driving the news: Commissioners on Monday evening unanimously approved USA range for a preliminary plan, flat, and special use permit for a store on two and a half acres at the northwest corner of 107th Street and Santa Fe Trail Drive, south of Old Town.

Details: The structure would be built to the same safety and noise reduction standards as its other 36 stores across the country, said Kevin Allee, vice president of real estate for the Cincinnati-based company.

  • If approved, the 14,894-square-foot structure would include two classrooms, 20 shooting lanes that can accommodate up to two shooters each, and a retail store.
  • The company considers the location particularly attractive because it is near Interstate 35 and in a light industrial area, said Korb Maxwell, an attorney representing the company.
  • He added that Range USA had no problems in other locations, even when their stores were near residential areas.

What else: Questioned by the commission, Allee highlighted the company’s experience in business since 2012 with other sites.

  • Range USA is the nation’s leading gun safety educator, focusing on new or inexperienced gun owners, he said.
  • The building will have solid concrete walls, with motion and vibration sensors in addition to cameras on the outside, he said. Customers’ driver’s licenses are checked as they enter and security guards are on hand to ensure weapons are handled correctly, he said.
Lenexa range of guns
Range USA operates 36 shooting ranges and commercial outlets nationwide. Image via Lenexa Planning Commission documents.

What they said: “We are not a security nuisance. We are not a nuisance to police calls at all,” Allee said, adding that they also encourage police, sheriff and federal law enforcement officers to train in stores.

  • “It sets the tone for our stores, it tells the community what kind of business we run and if you do anything bad, we’re not in your house,” he said.
  • He also said the company would have no problem meeting the noise ordinance of 70 decibels at the property line during the day and 65 after hours.
  • Stores are designed so that sellers in retail areas can convert with customers during filming, he said.

Discussion: A nearby business owner spoke at the required public hearing.

  • Rebecca Hanrahan, owner of Long Motor Corporationor LMC Truck, which has a building to the west, expressed concern about increased traffic and the possibility of further accidents.
  • She also said some of her 380 employees were concerned about the gun store.
  • “I have women who go out after dark and I need to know they are safe,” she said. “They have concerns and they called my office and said, ‘That’s not a good idea.'”

What’s next for the proposed Lenexa line of guns

  • The full city council is now due to discuss the issue at its September 20 meeting.

Roxie Hammill is a freelance journalist who frequently reports for the Post and other Kansas City-area publications. You can reach her at [email protected]

Aurora J. William