By Kim Savage
The Next Door website in the Willowbrook/Darien area started seeing posts in mid-March about a proposed gun range for Willowbrook although the urgency of the posts did not surface until after the April 5 Plan Commission meeting where a Special Use Permit was approved for recommendation to the Village Board.
The original proposal was for a gun club with a 24/7 shooting range with machine gun rentals and a bar, to be located at 79thStreet and the east Frontage Road on Kingery Highway. Situated near schools, homes, and businesses, the proposal created a firestorm of dissent from the community.
Approximately 300 people attended the Willowbrook Village Board meeting on April 24 at Ashton Place. Prior to the meeting, the developers removed the 24/7 hours and machine gun rentals from the proposal. Dozens of neighbors, including several physicians, spoke in public comment. The vast majority of the comments opposed the gun range for a variety of reasons including opposition to guns, the combination of guns and alcohol, the location, and the creation of an target for theft of firearms and ammunition by people who intend to use them to harm others.
After almost 3 hours of public comment, the issue was tabled to the next meeting which is scheduled for May 22 at 6:30pm at the Burr Ridge Marriott. People wishing to make public comment should arrive early to sign up.