Plan for gun range and store gets good reviews in Mundelein

A proposal to build a gun store and shooting range in southern Mundelein got some preliminary support from village trustees Monday night.

Maxon Shooters, which operates in Des Plaines, is eyeing nearly 2 acres of vacant land at 320 Townline Road. The site is just west of a Salvation Army store and donation center, and near an indoor baseball training facility called the Bolt.

Maxon owner Dan Eldridge, general manager Sarah Natalie and real estate developer Scott Gendell of Terraco Real Estate unveiled their plans for a free-standing, 20,000-square-foot building.

The building would contain a retail area, offices, classrooms for training and more than 20 lanes for target shooting.

The range essentially would be inside a concrete box within the larger building to significantly reduce the sound of gunfire, Eldridge said. People standing 20 feet from the building shouldn't be able to hear the shots, he said.

Eldridge also talked about building security. There's been just one burglary at the Des Plaines business since he bought it in 2015, he said, and the thieves - who'd smashed a vehicle through loading bay doors - made off only with paper targets.

However, in 2012, more than 140 firearms were stolen out of the shop when it was in a different location and under different ownership.

In that burglary, thieves smashed a glass door, forced open a steel door and grabbed guns out of display cases, authorities reported at the time. Four teens eventually were arrested.

Eldridge said the current facility has layers of security and "is as secure as it possibly can be."

The Mundelein property is zoned for a shopping center, and a shooting range isn't permitted in such a zone. As such, a review by the village's planning and zoning commission, and approval from the village board will be needed.

Although no formal action was taken, Mayor Steve Lentz and trustees said they liked the proposal.

Trustee Erich Schwenk said concerns he had about noise were assuaged, noting that the site is far from any homes.

"It's a great location to put it," he said. "I wish you all the best."

Trustee Kerston Russell called the plan "exceptional."

A proposal to open a gun range on Route 45 in Mundelein was scrapped in 2017 after encountering significant opposition from nearby residents.

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  A developer has proposed building a gun shop and shooting range next to the Salvation Army store on Mundelein's south side. Paul Valade/
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