Bill on Iowa police shooting ranges advances in Legislature

But some question if bill is too far-reaching

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A bill to change state law so the Cedar Rapids Police Department can stop worrying about its outdoor shooting range’s proximity to homes and businesses won approval in a House committee, but not without lawmakers questioning whether the bill is too far-reaching.

The bill came about after the state Office of Citizens’ Aide/Ombudsman ruled that the city’s outdoor shooting range at 2727 Old River Rd. SW violates a state law prohibiting a publicly owned shooting range to be within 200 yards of inhabited structures.

Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, told the House Judiciary Committee the range is invaluable in allowing law enforcement to train with a variety of weapons under a variety of weather and daylight conditions.

Rep. Rick Olson, D-Des Moines, questioned whether the law would have an adverse impact on residential property values if public property was redeveloped as a shooting range.

“The range was there first before people moved in,” said Rep. Vicki Lensing, D-Iowa City.

The legislation was approved 20-1. Windschitl said he would consider an amendment to limit future shooting ranges in residential settings.

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