A “special permit” to operate a gun range on Slocum Road in Ontario was discussed at the town planning board meeting on Oct. 11 and Oct. 21.
As the owner of a child care center across the street from the proposed gun range/gun store/pawn shop, I feel this is a highly inappropriate location for this business. There are many locations in the town much better suited for this noisy and potentially dangerous activity. In fact, the town of Ontario already has a gun range — Ontario Rod and Gun Club — located on Trimble Road in a more suitable location. I am not opposed to gun ranges. The proposed location, however, is poor and in a very busy part of town where many children play outside at the child care center with school buses frequently picking up and dropping off kids. This is a busy area of state Route 104 with several business — dentists, a gas station, McDonalds, a busy plaza — and homes and apartments nearby.
Children do not need to be subjected to constant gunfire while at play. Different firearms make different sounds, and even with the best state-of-the-art acoustic accommodations, gunshots will be heard in the surrounding neighborhood at a considerable distance. In reviewing the regulations for indoor shooting ranges, some state “no new shooting range shall be located nearer than 1,000 feet from any entrance to any school, church or hospital, or in any location which, in the opinion of the chief of police, will result in the annoyance of any nearby resident.” I believe strongly that nearby residents will be affected substantially in a negative way, as well as our very youngest residents.
The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 is an act of the U.S. Congress signed into law by President George H.W. Bush that prohibits any unauthorized individual from knowingly possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of any parochial, private or public school.
The Tot Spot Child Care Center should be considered a “school zone,” and thus a gun-free zone as it employs certified teachers to educate children based on the New York State Common Core Curriculum designed by the NYS Education Department. In addition, The Tot Spot Child Care Center contracts with Wayne Central School District to supply universal pre-kindergarten services to students of Wayne Central School District.
We hope the planning board carefully considers these key concerns, and votes to deny this gun shooting range the permit to operate.
Wendy and Mark Mendola
The Tot Spot Child Care Centers