by Valerie Kincaid
This is a open letter to my fellow residents of the Loveland School District regarding the new gun range that has been proposed for property diagonally adjacent to Loveland Primary School/Loveland Elementary School on Loveland-Madeira Road.
If the project moves forward at this location, please consider these four topics as our community learns more about this project and the impact it could have on school safety for our community’s children and residential property values for all homeowners.
GUN RANGE WOULD BE NAMED “SLING N' GUNS”
It appears that the business owner, who is a federally licensed firearms dealer who lives in our school district, has already named his new proposed shooting range “Sling N Guns”, according to a company website and a listing on Yelp.com.
If you click on the filtered review link on the Sling N Guns’ Yelp listing, you’ll see that shooters at his proposed business will be allowed to practice with any caliber pistol and up to a .223 caliber rifle. In addition, shooters will also be able to rent guns for target practice on-site. Most guns at the proposed target shooting range will rent for $10 or $5.
Machine gun rental will be a bit more expensive. “Machine Guns: $35 with One Full Clip of 25-30 rounds depending on the gun type”, according to Sling N Guns’ Yelp listing.
You can see the logo for this new business for yourselves by visiting www.slingnguns.com. Details about this gentleman's other gun-related businesses, which are all perfectly legal, and are in addition to his proposed target range can be found at www.onling.com or by searching for Onling Guns on Facebook.
Some examples of his other legal and licensed gun-related services already conducted through his existing home-based business, Onling Guns, are:
•Plans to bring a new line of gun silencers, which are legal in Ohio and dramatically reduce the loud “boom” guns typically make when fired, to sell here.
•Handling out-of-state gun transfers for prices of either $15 or $50 depending on the type of gun for people purchasing guns from dealers based outside Ohio.
Would those gun silencers be on sale across the street from LPS/LES if that’s the location he selects for his Sling N Guns shooting range? Will that proposed location become a regional destination for out-of-state gun transfers? Only the gun business owner can say for sure, and he’s unfortunately refused so far to grant interviews to local media.
GUN RANGES ARE PERFECTLY LEGAL, BUT SHOULD THEY BE SO CLOSE TO AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?
As someone who grew up with handguns, rifles, and a shotgun in my family’s home, went target shooting as a teenager, and was taught basic gun safety beginning in childhood, it was my hope that the owner of “Sling N Guns” and “Onling Guns” would reconsider his first choice for the location of his gun range.
The gun ranges I shot at as a teen were always either in industrial areas, out in the country for outdoor ranges, or in some other remote location. I don’t recall any of them ever being across the street from an elementary school. That’s just common sense, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, I and a group of concerned residents who are following this issue closely, learned this week that while the gun business owner is considering other possible, more appropriate locations around Loveland for his shooting range business, he has so far declined to confirm to Loveland City officials that the property adjacent to the schools is definitely off his list of possible locations.
So it’s still possible that “Sling N Guns” could be opening soon across the street from the school campus where more than 1,000 of Loveland’s children in grades 1-4 attend school.
PARENTS AND OTHER CONCERNED PROPERTY OWNERS NEED TO SHOW UP FOR PUBLIC MEETINGS ON THIS ISSUE
As a result of the obvious school safety concerns, the Loveland School Board and our Superintendent Dr. Marschhausen will be discussing their concerns on this proposal at the upcoming School Board Meeting on Tuesday, January 8th beginning at 6 p.m. in the media center (library) at the Loveland Intermediate School/Middle School campus on Lebanon Road.
I am asking every fellow resident who is concerned about this gun range’s proposed location next to a school to PLEASE ATTEND THIS SCHOOL BOARD MEETING to show our school board members and the Greater Loveland community our strong support for them in addressing this critical school safety issue. The school board is scheduled to discuss and vote on a document (Resolution of Concern) regarding this issue that will be forwarded to Loveland City Council, which has the real say in what kinds of businesses can be located adjacent to any of our community’s schools.
We have learned that the City of Loveland council members have apparently authorized their council attorney to attend the school board meeting and formally accept the school board’s document to take immediately to Loveland City Council.
You do not have to publicly speak at the school board meeting if you prefer not to, but a simple show of unified support by attending the meeting could help make a real difference.
Your presence will send a clear message to our school board members that we support their concerns and efforts to protect our community’s children. It will also send an unambiguous message to elected officials with the City of Loveland, and possibly to the gun business owner; that many people here are deeply concerned with the current proposed location of the gun range and are closely following this issue.
In addition, there is an 8 p.m. meeting that same evening – Tuesday, Jan. 8 – of the Loveland City Council.
After the school board addresses the proposed gun range issue, our family and a group of other concerned parents will be moving on to the Loveland City Council meeting to follow their reaction to the school board’s document outlining the school district’s concerns on this issue.
Again, no one has to speak at the Loveland City Council meeting if you prefer not to – although anyone who wishes to address Loveland City Council will have that opportunity during the Open Public Forum section of the meeting.
I think it would be wonderful if the Loveland City Council Chambers down at Loveland City Hall near the bike trail is absolutely packed with concerned mothers, fathers and other property owners on January 8th at 8 p.m.
COULD THE PROPERTY VALUES OF OUR HOMES BE AFFECTED BY THIS ISSUE?
While my chief concern is the safety of our community’s children who attend LPS/LES, I cannot help but also be deeply worried about our community’s residential home values. What impact could having the “Sling N Guns” shooting range diagonally adjacent to Loveland’s primary/elementary schools have on our home values?
Imagine a married couple with young school-aged children who are looking to move to one of the great school district communities in Cincinnati’s Northeastern suburbs. Picture them as they research the different communities, and maybe even drive past the elementary schools for districts such as Sycamore, Mason, and Loveland.
If you were that young couple, would having “Sling N Guns” shooting range across the street from Loveland Primary/Elementary schools affect your decision on which school district to buy a home in?
How many parents would be excited to buy a house in the Loveland School District, knowing that from first grade through fourth grade, their children will be in school and out on a playground that is just a few hundred feet from the front door of “Sling N Guns”, if the gun range goes in at the proposed location on Loveland-Madeira Road?
Even for Loveland families who send their kids to our community’s great private and parochial schools and would never have a child at the LPS/LES campus, could there be a financial impact? Anyone who owns a home in the Loveland School District could be affected financially if our community’s home values are impacted by the proposed location of this shooting range.
As the reputation and desirability of living in the Loveland School District goes up or down, so goes the market value of our homes.
On January 8th, our family will be at those two public meetings.
I hope those of you who share my concerns will join me, and encourage other concerned parents and property owners to be there as well.