Oak Creek — Amid overwhelming support from the Common Council and residents speaking at a public hearing, the city will be home to a new indoor firearms range.
The Common Council approved on Monday a conditional use permit to Deborah Teglia, owner of Black Diamond Paving, to operate a 17,000-square-foot indoor firing range at 6925 S. 6th Street. The range will be in the same building as Black Diamond Paving and Teglia predicts construction could be completed in two years.
Ten Oak Creek residents and one Greenfield resident spoke at the public hearing in support of the firing range. Many, like Oak Creek resident George Hughes, said they were tired of going to the shooting range in Racine. Many complained the Racine range was dirty and were looking forward to Teglia's range, which, according to her plans, will exceed the National Rifle Association's standards for safety and cleanliness in firing ranges.
The range, named Black Diamond Firearms Academy, will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the week. It will provide firearms safety classes, will sell firearms and accessories such as ammunition and holsters and will rent firearms for use on the range. The range will also have a lounge area. The range will have 14 gun lanes and two archery lanes.
Aldermen Jim Ruetz and Steven Kurkowski expressed their approval for the range. Ruetz echoed the residents in that he was tired of going to Racine to shoot. Kurkowski lauded the range's safety features, which will include clear barriers between the shooters, allowing for a range safety official to see more clearly what is going on.
Oak Creek Mayor Steven Scaffidi was also in support of the range.
'This is a touchy issue but because of the way you handled it,' he said to Teglia, 'the research you did and the people you surrounded yourself with, it's easy to understand why this makes sense. Even in the environment we live in, especially today.'
The motion passed unanimously.