Swank indoor shooting facility gets first OK, looks to 2020 Aurora opening

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AURORA | A proposed tony gun range is one step closer to opening near the intersection of East Quincy Avenue and South Reservoir Road. 

The City of Aurora Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the plan for Chambered Shooting Sports Wednesday night. The full-service shooting range — with a vibe like  “bowling alleys in the ‘90s” — now has to clear a few more permitting steps before opening, but owner Mark Chatterley is optimistic the plan will go through. 

“Planning commission was our first big hurdle,” he said. “Now that we have the approval, it’s kind of downhill from here.”

Chatterley said he’s targeting construction in January to convert an old Rite Aid, with a tentative opening goal set for June or July 2020. Barring a city council member calling up the plan for reconsideration, or an appeal from an abutting property owner, the plan will not come before another city body for a public vote. 

Technical reviews, plan tweaks and permitting and licensing processes will begin next, said Susan Chapel, planning and zoning commission project coordinator.

If OK’d, the joint would have “pretty much anything available” to shoot, Chatterley told the Sentinel in September, from a bevy to handguns to rifles. 

The proposal has attracted some opposition from area residents. They’ve cited concerns of noise, traffic, danger and glorifying gun violence. 

“I believe practice and play with lethal weapons will have negative effects on the nature of the suburban family, residential neighborhood in which I chose to reside,” Aurora resident Norman Nuwash said in a letter to the planning commission. “Aurora has an ugly history and culture in gun violence and I don’t wish to have any activity in my neighborhood that can be used in support of future violence.”

Proponents of the plan have included prominent gun rights advocacy group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

The gun range’s floor plan includes five shooting ranges that are completely separated by bullet-proof walls. Shooters would be able to test guns in private rooms — not surrounded by other people and the loud “cracks” of your typical indoor range, he said. 

The separate ranges would include one 25-foot range, three 10-foot ranges and one five-foot range with an “advanced live fire interactive graphic experience,” according to the proposal. 

Safety staff would patrol the lanes, and classes would be available to teach new gun shooters.