McHenry residents voice concern over gun shop planned near school

McHENRY, Ill. (WLS) -- Some residents in northwest suburban McHenry are concerned over plans to build a gun shop and gun range near a school. They claim they were not made aware of the plans until signs promoting the gun shop went up.

Second Amendment Sports - the city's third gun shop - is set to open this winter, but some residents hope it's not too late for it to find a new location.

The city of McHenry gave the owner of Second Amendment Sports the green light three years ago to convert an existing building into a firing range and retail space for guns and sporting goods.

The project is a few months away from completion and parents of kids who go to a school a few hundred feet away don't want the business in that neighborhood.

"With everything that's happening now, it seems counterintuitive to place a guns shop and range behind a school," said Molly Plautz, a parent.

Plautz said not enough was done to publicize plans for the business, and other parents fear that having a gun shop in close proximity to their children's school puts them in harm's way.

"I hope that enough concerned citizens will step up now that word is getting out there and that more people will step up and say, 'hey, this isn't a good idea,'" said Mike Thielsen, another parent.

Alderman Andy Glab was the only dissenting vote when the city council voted on the gun shop three years ago. He is now questioning whether there were any loopholes during the process of the gun shop being approved, and wants an attorney to take a closer look.

"The proposal was there as far as what's going in there. As far as how the procedure is done, it's flawed. I just feel you always have to look at legalities," Glab said.

But the city says the owner, who owns another gun shop in town, went through the proper channels to open this business.

"This gentleman purchased the property knowing that he could use it for the intended use of a retail sporting goods store in conjunction with a shooting range," said Douglas Martin, McHenry director of economic development.

The McHenry city council will meet Monday night, but the gun shop is not on the agenda.

The owner of the gun shop did not respond to a request for comment.
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