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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. 

Al Tate May 16, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I can't believe this is even a story or an issue. The SSP Moose Lodge used to host gun safety all the time. It was not even a big deal. You signed up, you trained at the gun club, you got your permit. My point is, what a bunch of government bureaucracy that this has to be brought to the council, discussed, then go to the planning commission, then go probably back to the council. Just make a decision and move on, it's either yes or no, let's do it. So, do your job and approve it or don't approve it council people!
Al Tate May 16, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I want to clarify, Jeff/Patch, thanks for doing this story. It just seems like the council should make a decision on this, without all the need to go back and forth. How hard is it councilmen?
Scott Allen May 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Perhaps the council should allow a one time class that they can attend themselves and they could have all of their questions answered from the experience.
J May 17, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I'm all for it, just get it done and make it happen. Everybody, weather they own a firearm or not should be encouraged to take a firearm safety class. But the article misses one very important point, I believe they are talking about restricting the class to.22 caliber RIMFIRE rounds. As any firearm enthusiast knows, there are many, many '22 caliber' rounds that are very powerful, .222, 22-250, .220 Swift etc These are all '.22 caliber' rounds. The .22 Rimfire is generally considered the least powerful of the .22's, Even the .22 Long Rifle rimfire is very powerful, capable of traveling great distance and prone to richochet. I would personally suggest if they are concerned with noise and power, to restrcit the firearms to .22 RIMFIRE, loaded with what they call 'shorts' or 'CB caps. I belong to a gun club in Lake Elmo, we hold a firearms safety class every month all year long. We've trained youngsters and adults. I believe it is an important public service, I commend the city of IGH for even considering it.
Jeff Roberts (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 04:36 PM
These are all good points, J. The DNR instructor didn't go into detail about types of .22 cal rounds but it's good to know there are differences. For what it's worth, the city council seemed very much behind this. Once it's through the Planning Commish, I don't envision any issues.
D. Lewis May 18, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I encourage the city council to pas this. Having attended gun safety with my sister when I was twelve led to a lot more respect for firearms. I am an avid hunter but my sister does not hunt, but even she feels that it was a benefit to attending these classes. I look forward to bringing my daughter to gun safety and would be pleased if I do not have to drive accross town to attend a class. The last gun safety class I went through was with my son and we had to travel to Apple Valley for the class because it was not being offered in SSP that year.
Tom May 19, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Agreed... Important, needed, useful, a good thing for locals.... But not on the Grannis property. IGH made a nice wasteland on the south end with all the landfills and no neighbors why not there somewhere... I find it a bit odd that Grannis is involved in all this tot.
Jeff Roberts (Editor) May 19, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Some of you have mentioned that you've taken your sons/daughters to firearms safety training elsewhere. I'm wondering if there is an age limit for kids interested? Should a 10-year-old be allowed to use a firearm? 12? 8? I am personally not real familiar with this issue and I'm curious. Thanks! Jeff
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 (Editor) 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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