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Readers Say Two Shooting Ranges in Wentzville is Not Too Many

The new Heartland range will feature a classroom and gun rental counter.

In yesterday's poll asking Patch readers if two indoor shooting ranges were necessary in Wentzville, the answer was overwhelmingly "Yes!"

Our (admittedly unscientific) poll results showed 91 percent in favor of the city's approval of site plans for new indoor shooting ranges at Heartland Guns and Ammo and at the former Burger King site on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Reader Ray Antonacci said, "Let the market decide. If there are not enough gun owners and shooting enthusiest than one or both will close soon after they open. I don't think they will."

Matt Meester suggested that the ranges might make Wentzville more attractive to visitors from out of town. "Anything that makes Wentzville more of a destination location . . . My opinion is the more people we get coming here from outside Wentzville the less taxes I have to pay to have great streets, schools and government."

Patch spoke with Ted Brand, manager of Heartland Guns and Ammo. Brand said that the new building addition would feature a 25-yard range, additional retail space, a classroom and a gun rental counter.

Customers will be able to try out guns before they purchase them, Brand said.

The range will have seven lanes initially, and depending on use, 12 to 15 more may be added in the future. The range will also feature a sitting room for customers waiting for their turn on the range.

For customers bringing in their own handguns to use the range, there will be a limit on the caliber. In addition, Brand said, owners of AR-15 type rifles, which have become popular as hunting weapons, will be able to use the range.

Completion of Heartland's expansion is projected for March of 2013.

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