By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - More than 7,000 people in Douglas County were issued a gun purchase permit in 2013 according to the sheriff's office.
That's up from 4,000 permits issued just three years ago.
A Nebraska National Guard veteran and his wife are planning to use that increase to their advantage.
They tell Fox 42 News, they want to open the only indoor gun range within the city limits of Omaha.
The owner is proposing that the indoor shooting range is built in the empty lot off 89th and Military road.
There will be three lanes for target practice and people will only be allowed to fire smaller guns.
They said they plan to stress education at the facility, however some said it's still a bad idea within city limits. "Innocent people can get hurt, you know? Out doing their daily things and everything and it can just happen you know so quickly and so ya I'm very concerned about that," Priscilla Barnes said.
But Jacques Clerc said his shooting range, Inner 10, will be built specifically around safety, using the materials that military and police department's use. "I would say come and check out the range and you'll understand that safety is of the utmost concern. Firearms are not going to be handled outside the range; we're not going to be playing with ammunition it's going to be completely safe, no ones going to be doing anything dangerous."
Surrounding business owners said they aren't worried about it and in fact, think it's a great idea. "People that have guns already, they want to be able to shoot them and it's nice to have a place, an outlet that they can do that besides going on the outskirts of town," Little Engines Manager, Megan Shirah said.
Pawn Plus sells guns. Manager Deb Beamis said having an indoor range next door will only help her business. "It'd be great, they can take the gun and go next door and shoot. It'd be good for them and it'd be good for us."
"It's big. People really want to learn and they want to learn from a professional and that's what we're going to offer," Clerc said.
The proposal will go before the planning board Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the City-County building downtown.
Anyone is welcome to come and share their opinions, whether for or against the indoor shooting range.
If the proposal is approved, construction will begin in the spring. The Clerc's hope to open the facility by the end of the year.