LOUISVILLE -- Target shooters in Boulder and Broomfield counties could soon have a new place to take aim and pull the trigger if a plan to build an indoor firing range in the Colorado Technology Center goes forward.

The Louisville City Council passed on first reading Tuesday night an ordinance that would allow indoor shooting ranges in industrially zoned areas as a special review use. A final vote on the matter is scheduled for May 21.

Final approval later this month would pave the way for entrepreneur Richard Weingarten to move forward on a 16-lane facility he hopes to call the On Target Shooting Center. Weingarten hopes to open for business by Thanksgiving.

"Every time I talk to somebody and I tell them we're considering building a range, their eyes light up," he said.

Weingarten, who lives in Erie, settled on Louisville after analyzing the area's demographics and the level of competition. His study showed him that there are 70,000 to 80,000 potential shooting enthusiasts within 15 miles of Louisville and few places to shoot.

There's the Boulder Rifle Club in Boulder, Trigger Time Gun Club in Longmont, Green Mill Sportsman's Club in Erie, and a firing range that was built for the Longmont Police Department and the Boulder County Sheriff's Office that opened to the public last summer.

"While the Louisville area doesn't have the biggest shooting population, we don't have very many ranges close to here," Weingarten said.

And many of those ranges are operating at maximum capacity, he said, with waiting lists that stretch on for years.


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On Target would have 16 lanes -- 25 yards each -- divided in two by a soundproof concrete wall so that different contingents of shooters could use the facility at the same time. One side of the range might host novice gun owners, Weingarten said, while the other side might be where members of law enforcement practice.

Louisville Police Chief Bruce Goodman would like to see a firing range in the city. Right now, his officers travel to Green Mill or to the Broomfield Police Department range to get in their shooting time. The chief said an indoor range would be particularly useful.

"There are a number of advantages," he said. "There's weather, and there is training and equipment that can be used indoors, such as shoot/don't shoot videos."

The interactive video training isn't critical to keeping Louisville's cops in top shooting shape, but Goodman said it would certainly be a positive addition. Weingarten said he's open to creating an arrangement with the city's police force to use his facility.

"If the Louisville Police Department wants to come in and use the range, we're open to it," he said.

Louisville's principal planner, Sean McCartney, said the last firing range the city had was an outdoor range at the Louisville Rod & Gun Club on South Street. The 85-year-old club was razed last year, though the range was shut down long before then.

He said the Colorado Technology Center Metro District supports Weingarten's plan. So does the city staff.

"I think it's something that's unique," McCartney said. "It would be good for this area."