Evanston aldermen this week asked the city’s legal staff to increase the separation distance required between gun ranges and homes, schools and parks.

They voted to hold in committee proposed regulations that would have required a separation of 250 feet after a speaker during public comment noted that a federal court last fall had upheld a 500-foot separation rule in a Chicago gun range ordinance.

Applying the Chicago rule in Evanston could prove challenging though, because the courts also have overturned an earlier Chicago ordinance that completely banned gun ranges from the city.

So, if a 500-foot separation rule in Evanston would leave no potential gun range locations in town, it probably would not withstand a court challenge.

City staff also noted that all of the sites shown as potential gun range locations on the map above, based on the proposed 250-foot separation rule, are currently occupied with other businesses and that any gun range proposal would require approval by the City Council as a special use.

The proposed ordinance would also limit gun sales in the city to gun ranges — a restriction that is authorized under state law.

On a related issue, the city’s law department reported that it would be illegal for the city to prohibit possession of firearms in multi-unit apartment buildings, but agreed to do further research in an effort to determine whether the owner of such a building could prohibit possession of firearms on the property.

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Gun range zoning to go before aldermen

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Any proposed range would be indoors, no?

    If a range were ever to be built in Evanston, it would be an indoor range just like the one which already exists beneath the police station, would it not?

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