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City Considering Firearms Safety Class Inside IGH

The course—if approved—would be taught by DNR 2nd Lieutenant Alex Gutierrez.

The is considering allowing DNR 2nd Lieutenant Alex Gutierrez to conduct a firearms safety training course inside city limits.

To bring the training to fruition, however, the City Council must first approve the amendment of a public ordinance prohibiting the discharge of a firearm inside Inver Grove Heights. 

Inver Grove Heights resident Vance Grannis, Sr.—father of city councilman 'Chip' Grannis—contacted Gutierrez and volunteered to host the training on a portion of his property.

Gutierrez explained to councilors Monday night that the training would be open to everyone and would be a "controlled environment with certified firearms safety instructors on site."  

Gutierrez also said the classes would be limited to .22 caliber firearms and to 30 people per class. 

Councilman Dennis Madden was clearly in favor of the proposition. 

"I think it's a lot better for people to realize what firearms can do and get the proper training to know how to use them," Madden told Gutierrez. 

He added: "If there's any of these anti-gun folks out there, it's a lot better if [users] have respect for the weapon and know how to use it. I think it's a great idea and I'd like to see more training done, with the young people especially."  

Councilman Bill Klein brought up a potential hurdle facing the initiative. 

"It's an outdoor facility, right?" Klein asked rhetorically. "So, like down in South St. Paul, you're going to hear these shots going off from about 5 o'clock to 9 o'clock at night—mostly in the Summer and on the weekends."

Gutierrez explained that while the classes do take place on weekends, they are usually held in the mornings to maximize availability for parents who'd like to enroll their children.

"The potential site is about a half-mile to the nearest neighbor through a heavily-wooded area. I'm fairly certain that no one is going to hear anything," Gutierrez added. 

Councilwoman Rosemary Piekarski-Krech addressed the issue of public safety when she asked about the power and range of a .22 caliber bullet.

Gutierrez explained that the range of .22 calibre firearm is "about a mile" but that the inertia of the projectile at that distance "would barely break skin." He added: "Even at 50 yards, the impact of a .22 calibre bullet goes into the ground maybe about an inch." 

Mayor George Tourville explained that before the City Council could take any action on the issue, it must first be approved and recommended by the IGH Planning Commission

It is scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission sometime in June. 

Kathee May 21, 2012 at 08:55 PM
My daughter (age 11) & I had taken Firearm Safety Class last Fall. I believe the "Rule of Thumb" is the child should turn 12 before the Fall hunting season, but I'm not 100% sure on that date. We had a great time at the DNR Class we took in Maplewood, However, it would have been much more convenient to take the class closer to home. We only went shooting ONCE for a couple hours in the morning during the WHOLE Class. Otherwise it was classroom type instruction, with NO ammunition!! I'll be signing my son up this year. Would love to be closer than Maplewood!
Jeff Roberts May 21, 2012 at 09:16 PM
That makes sense, Kathee. 12 years old seems appropriate. Thanks for commenting.
J May 23, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The classbooks are designed for the average 11 year old, but there have been many 9 and 10 year olds in classes I'm familiar with. My daughtrer was 9 when she took it and she got 100% on the written test.
Kathee May 23, 2012 at 07:34 PM
A child under the age of 11 could take the class, they just don't receive their "Certification" until they are 11 or 12. Taken from the DNR Site: Requirements: ■To be eligible to receive your Firearms Safety Certification, you must be 11 years of age or older. ■DNR Firearms Certification is required of anyone born after December 31, 1979 to purchase a hunting license in Minnesota. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/firearms/index.html
Greg Scofield June 05, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I thank Mr. Grannis for offering this opportunity. Long overdue--the city leaders should approve this with no issue. I find it interesting---and a demonstration of the need for firearms instruction--Mr Kline is comparing the noise of shotguns with that of a .22 caliber. If he had a clue he would not have even suggested such a comparison.

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