Shooting Range Proposed to Board
Zoning Ordinance would need amending to comply.
REBECCA SUSMARSKI, Assistant Editor
The Mokena Village Board of Trustees heard a proposal for a shooting range to come to Mokena during a June 16 work session at Village Hall. Dubbed Live Fire Gun Shop & Club, the business would be housed in a brand-new, custom-designed, 38,000-square-foot building at 18810 88th Ave. if granted a special use permit by the board. The establishment as currently proposed would contain a gun shop and shooting ranges for rifles and pistols. The business would also offer concealed carry classes and club membership.
Currently, Mokena’s zoning laws do not allow the Village to establish such businesses. “We would be looking at amending our zoning ordinance to accommodate a use like this” said Alan Zordan, the Village’s director of economic and community development, at the meeting. Tim Dalcorobbo, the would-be co-owner and company general manager of the business, and Bruce A. Johnson, the would-be co-owner and co-general manager, outlined the plans for the endeavor to the five board members present. (Trustee Joseph Siwinski was absent.)
Johnson said that the business would make money by renting out shooting ranges, charging customers $25 to reserve lanes for an hour. Johnson added the shop would have a Federal Firearms License to sell guns, and the staff would comply with rules and regulations established by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “If you do not meet those standards and they come in and you’re missing a gun in inventory, they they close you down,” Johnson said. “So their standards are set very high, and we’re gonna abide by those standards.”
Johnson added that members of Mokena’s law enforcement would be allowed to “use the range for their qualifications for free.” The business would also set designated times for officers to use for practice. “We’re [also] gonna have our training room, which would be able to host South Suburban Chiefs of Police meetings, Will County Chiefs of Police meetings [and] we’re gonna hopefully host special events,” Johnson said “We want local law enforcement to use our facility, and we’re gonna do everything we can to entice them to come here.” Police Chief Steve Vacaro, who was present at the meeting, said that currently Mokena Police officers use the state police range for both training and target practice. Trustee George Metanias said that having a shooting range in Mokena “will be a lot more convent” in that respect.”
“Not only for our police but I think [for] a lot of the residents that do have guns and they don’t want to go anywhere far just to practice,” Metanias said. “I think this’ll give them an opportunity to be able to” Mayor Frank Fleischer, Metanias and Trustee John Mazzorana all expressed approval of the qualifications of LiveFire’s proposed staff. “Just as an aside, I have a real problem with this conceal carry and guns and everything else” Mazzorana said. “I guess my feeling is as long as we got it, I certainly would want it to be conducted by people who are qualified and can at least guarantee our residents and so forth that people who are training these younger people or older people at least are qualified to have the public’s best interest at heart”.
– The Mokena Messenger