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POLL: Are You in Favor of a Gun Safety Program Inside City Limits?

After nearly six hours of debate in the Inver Grove Heights Planning Commission and City Council, the issue remains locked in an intense debate.

The Inver Grove Heights Planning Commission spent three hours on June 5 trying to decide whether or not to recommend a DNR-sponsored firearms safety program in Darvan Acres, a huge plot of land owned by Vance Grannis, Jr. 

After much discussion, the Planning Commission recommended the program be allowed. 

The City Council spent a similar amount of time debating the same issue during Monday night's council meeting. The Council ultimately voted in favor of an interim use permit for the site, which, in theory, grants permission for the class to happen for an as-yet undetermined number of years.

Monday night's vote was the first in a series of readings of the issue, so nothing has been decided yet. Issues still being debated include noise control, number of classes, notification logistics and the number of participants per class.

Among the top issues to be considered remains changing a city ordinance to allow residents to discharge firearms within city limits. This is an issue that brings up a host of potential problems.

But, based on the intense scrutiny the issue has received, perhaps it's time for IGH residents to voice their concerns. Put simply ... 

Colleen Thomas June 15, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I thought that Mr. Grannis was going to develop this property into a Nature Center. I'm not opposed to a DNR-sponsored firearms safety program, possibly even include the Archery program as well (since THAT is legal to do in this part of IGH), and many people DO hunt and have deer stands on their property in this area. A great way for youth to enjoy the sport. There may be the possiblity of people assuming since the gun range is in the area that they will be able to shoot on their properties. I am opposed to that, as the natural environment is what attracts residents to this area. What is the status of the Nature Center? Is this potential income to help develop that? http://invergroveheights.patch.com/articles/former-mayor-hopes-to-develop-250-acre-nature-center and here: http://www.startribune.com/local/south/117712148.html
Libby Evolved June 15, 2012 at 09:40 PM
When was the last shooting in Inver Grove Heights? Sounds like some redneck hillbilly got lost here in our pretty blue state and they're here to fix a problem that doesn't exist. NO! Leave that to those dumb-as-rocks hillbillies who are still waiting for those wealthy folks up there to trickle a little something down their way. When you are used as a pawn to redistribute wealth to an elite few, and you don't even see it, that's not exactly something we should aspire to.
Martha June 16, 2012 at 03:47 AM
No, this absolutely should not go forward. I do not want the law to be changed to allow guns within city limits. That opens the door to a bad situation, since there would then be a lot more guns. It would be noisy and very unsafe. Let the gun classes take place somewhere else--like at that shooting range in Rosemount. It's already there; why not use it?
Jim Larson June 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM
It sounds like some of the folks living out there have an issue with the safety and/or possibly noise. I grew up across from the St. Paul gun club. We didnt even notice the shotgun noise. You get used to it. As for the safety, just do some research on this topic and see that there are no safety issues.
Mark N June 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM
There is a proven correlation between kids participation in gun safety programs such as the NRA Eddie Eagle program and the MN DNR program with their future respect for the serious responsibility of owning and using firearms. Since this benefits everyone and this sounds like a safe place to have a range, the project should proceed and will be a benefit to the entire area.
N Lehn June 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Teach the kids, They should learn about safety.
Sara R June 18, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Libby, Seems like you are a dumb-as a-rock liberal. Why do you take this as a wealth issue and why is increasing one's wealth a bad thing? I imagine if it was for you, you wouldn't complain. Yes on the range, absolutely. My husband, daughter, son and myself have had gun safety training at the Dakota County range and it was excellent. Why not make this more accessible to the residents of Inver Grove, the classes at the Dakota County range are limited and fill quickly. Not only is it important for the kids, as well as adults, to learn to use and respect firearms, it can also be a great family experience.
Dale Suckstorff June 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I am opposed to the ordinance change. Couple of reasons; it is too close to my property and part of the reason I live here is to enjoy the sounds of nature, there are eagles nesting less than a 1/4 mile from this site and I do not think they will stay or appreciate it this activity, there are walking paths back around the lakes and this would detract from those hikes, and if we cannot discharge a firearm in the this area (city of Inver Grove Heights) why do we need safety classes in this area? Also like most things like this 6 times per year, would probably soon become every weekend and then twice a week and open for more guns. I guess I could support this if it would only (every) be 3 times per year and in the Months of Dec, Jan, and Feb when windows are closed and not as many people outside or using the hiking paths Thanks Dale S.
Chipper June 18, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Aspire this, Libby: Sara R is right on. Typical liberalism on display-all emotion. When you can't sustain any argument against that with which you disagree, you resort to name calling. Demeaning those people who CHOOSE to educate themselves in the safe handling of a firearm does nothing but reveal YOUR elitism. Learning the proper use and respect of a firearm IS very important and can be a great family experience-not to mention smart if you choose to own a firearm. But because YOU and your ilk are opposed to guns, they have the intelligence of a rock?? That's not very tolerant, now, is it? Bring on the Inver Grove Gun Heights Safety Program!!!
Kathee June 18, 2012 at 11:06 PM
It seems those who disapprove of this give the reasoning is the "safety and noise" of the class. My question to you is - Have you ever attended a Firearms Safety Class? Attend a class before you decide how unsafe and "noisy" a potential class would be in IGH. You don't need a desire to hunt, just a willingness to open your mind and learn something different.
Lori Schaffer June 20, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Would you persons voting in favor of this like to be living in the very NEAR vicinity of the safety class range as my family is?? We're all for Safety Classes but NOT IN OUR BACK YARD.
Kris June 20, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I moved out to IGH because of the nature. My family is always outside enjoying the environment. I have 3 concerns about the proposed gun safety training; Safety. The proposed sight has trails that we use daily within the 1/4 safety zone. These are trails that my kids fish off of, hike and play. There are many days that I see people on the trails that do not live there- how will they be notified that guns are going to be shot within the area? And what precautions will be taken to make sure someone is not accidentally shot enjoying the outdoors in the suburbs? Secondly nature. What will the environmental impact be? There is an active Eagle's next right near the firing location. Lastly Noise. This is an issue. There is a gun range in Eagan and people 7 miles away can hear it. Noise travels far- and residents that are not even in the area will most likely be bothered by it. My kids and dogs are not "fans" of gun shooting or firework noise. One dog I have to tranquilize for loud noises... If I bought a house knowing it is in a gun range - then that is my choice. But putting it in after we are hear and NOT listening to the area residents and is not fair for our enjoyment and house values. Gun safety is important. Why not train them on gun safety but go to a shooting range for the practice. That I would be in favor of. City Council needs to really LISTEN to its residents...
Hope June 21, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Good. Keep it indoors!
Hope June 21, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Good comments Kris. Maybe people should move to communities that allow firearms within city limits if that is what they want! Forest Lake is one of them.
Jeff Roberts (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Good comment, Kris. I know the issue of "fit" has come up in discussions at the highest level. Specifically, people are wondering how a firearms class fits with the nature preserve mission of Darvan Acres. I think there will be plenty of discussion on that very topic in the weeks to come.
Christine June 23, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Yes, I totally support this and wish more cities would also be able to offer the class with an area such as the one in IGH.
Mambaman June 23, 2012 at 07:25 PM
You should check out indoor (and outdoor) ranges before you show your lack of knowledge publicly. Gary.
jfh1945 June 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM
As a summer camp instructor some years ago, I had hoped more cities and local organizations would provide for firearm instruction and range time. Firearms familiarization and fundamentals are good skills for children, and go a long way to dispel fear and misusage. I really hope the IVG proposal will reach fruition with a good range for local shooters.
Jeff Carnes June 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Participation in our Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) firearms safety program is an exceptionally effective means to learn safe and respectful conduct around firearms. Safety is the focus. I have seen young people walk away from the training with respect that was learned for firearms handling. Respect that counters the attitudes depicted far to often on TV and movie screens. Firearms Safety is required for youth in our state to participate in our firearms hunting traditions. I became a Volunteer firearms safety instructor to help keep the opportunity open for families to participate together in an activity that opens the outdoors - especially to urban youth - to a degree that few other outdoor activities can bring forth. To give thanks at the table where you harvested part of the meal yourself from nature’s bounty, has a very deep transcendent ability to connect one to that nature with the understanding and desire to protect and nurture our environment for future generations.
Jeff Carnes June 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Sorry for the length - the website called me Tolstoy - pray it not an insult to the great writer - Part 2: The hunting public provides the great majority of the funding for environmental protections. Organizations such as the Whitetail Deer Association, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Wild Turkey Federation and many others bring resources to preservation of wildlife. I myself support the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society and our state Loon Check Off at tax time. I do little hunting but support the hunting tradition in our state. The DNR opening some public areas for promotion of firearms through the DNR education programs is a great idea where it is safe to do so and the concentration of need is great. Residents of Inver Grove Heights should be pleased with the opportunity to promote safety within their community. In a state with such broad participation in hunting traditions - I would rather our citizens learn firearms handling from a respectful DNR volunteer than from the TV or movie screen.
Jeff Carnes June 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM
The DNR Firearms Safety certification requires each student to demonstrate safe handling through a live fire exercise of a minimum 15 rounds of 22 caliber rimefire. I beleive the only firearms exception will be for the live fire portion of the DNR education class. The firearms range will not be used for any other firearms discharge under this request.
Kathee June 26, 2012 at 01:39 AM
The last shooting in IGH was this past March. http://invergroveheights.patch.com/articles/amick-formally-charged-in-shooting-bail-set-at-1-million
Kathee June 26, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Firearms ARE allowed within the city limits. Discharging of Firearms is NOT allowed.
Bubba June 28, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Sounds like a safe place to have a range?? I live right by it and there are many homes in the area. Hopeful that the volunteers trained within a 4 hour, yes 4 hour period don't let any shots fires fly through our windows? Maybe you should examine the site better.
Robert June 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I believe that would be IGH as in Inver Grove Heights. Obviously you don't live in this city.
Lori July 02, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Interesting information in NRA website. Are they really looking for safety classes or more gun ranges? How many of their members live in Inver Grove Heights, even better, in near vicinity? Believe this issue is everything Darvan Acres was NOT supposed to be. Perhaps we neighbors should reassess our support for Darvan. ttp://www.nraila.org/legislation/state-legislation/2012/6/firearms-safety-course-needs-your-help-in-minnesota-town.aspx
Joe July 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I just scheduled classes for my two boys to take the gun safety classes and had no problem getting them in. There are already available sights; why take away anymore greenspace in Dakota County?
LLS July 12, 2012 at 03:13 AM
People need to realize his "neighbor" with more than 100 acres included in the 250 acres is NOT in favor of the gun range. This could very well jeopardize Mr Grannis' efforts to have Darvan Nature Center actually come to fruition.
Jeff Roberts (Editor) July 12, 2012 at 03:42 AM
I'm running a big article in the morning that quotes several of the people that spoke at Monday night's meeting. It's interesting to read through the Grannis, Tourville and Lindberg opinions. It's set to go live at 5:30 a.m. Check it out!
Kyle August 25, 2012 at 04:22 AM
This is not the correct location for a gun range. The rannge/ shooters will be shooting towards a neighbors house and property. To many residence in the area. Why doesnt't the DNR try putting this range on Mississippi River property in the southeastern part of IGH

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