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Firearms Training in Gahanna Parks Proposed

Gahanna City Council Members are expected to vote tonight on whether to allow firearms training programs at 2 city parks. Some residents are concerned about safety, but city leaders say safety measures will be in place.

The enclosed shelter at Hannah Park off of Clark State Road is one of two locations Gahanna officials have selected to allow firearms training if the Gahanna City Council approves. The 35 acre grounds include a play area, a baseball diamond, tennis courts and a basketball court. Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Tony Collins says the proposal was put together after he was approached by the Boy Scouts.

"This is one more method to get people out and active in our park system. It's a great educational opportunity, both for children and adults. Safety education is always important to us from a mission standpoint," said Collins.

Council member Shane Ewald says he also is in favor of the program.

"Well there won't be any firing of any type of firearm which would be a gun powder based weapon. There will be practicing with air rifles which is BB or pellet. There will not be any kind of live ammunition allowed at the parks whatsoever," said Ewald.

The Boy Scouts will learn about the parts of an unloaded gun and how to clean it. Anyone interested in holding a firearms training session would have to file for a city permit and be certified by either the National Rifle Association or the Boy Scouts. Signs would be posted for park goers during the training. Jogger, Jerry Gerker visits Hannah park up to five times a week and has some concerns.

"I would prefer that they would try to find another facility that was similar. There's one close to the airport," said Gerker.

Director of Parks and Recreation, Tony Collins says park goers will be safe.

"I think that the safety situation can be controlled. I think it's a good use of parks. It's a good use for our citizens to take advantage of our local resources," said Collins.

Collins adds the other location under consideration for firearms training is the 46 acre Price Road Reserve in the southwest part of Gahanna. If the measure is approved it will take effect in 30 days.