ATLANTA -- The owner ofStoddard's says his business is a state of the art gun range with a high-tech ventilation system that's designed to keep the air as clean as it is in a hospital operating room.
It would be that kind of million-dollar technology, that includes recycling and lead mitigation, that would also come to a blighted building on Bishop Street in Atlantic Station.
"We are going to be paying payroll taxes, property taxes," said Stoddard's owner Michael Halbreich. "We are going to be employing a minimum of 25 full-time employees at the range, probably more than that. We will also be bringing in sales taxes to the city."
But that's only if the permits for the new range were all in order before the new law banning such ranges, which are within 800-feet of homes, schools and churches, went into effect in Atlanta this week.
"It has been and remains my belief that we have started the process well in advance of this new ordinance," said Halbreich. "As such we should be grandfathered under the existing law. We are hopefully proceeding with that in mind."
Loring Heights is a pastoral gem of a community hidden at the edge of Atlantic Station. It was the catalyst for the new law, though many residents are not opposed at all to the gun range.
"I think it's a great idea," said resident Drew Crosby. "You already have the entire Bishop Street being industrial area anyway,"
While the neighborhood boasts a large number of children, many parents are nonplussed about having a range nearby.
"Having a range around while they're growing up is a great opportunity to be educated about all the issues around it," said J.P. James, as he and his wife watched their daughter play in the park.
But some are worried that gun sales at the range might bring crime to the area.
"You wouldn't want anyone to break into that place and get weapons," said Mark Stephens, who's not opposed to the range itself but is against it selling guns. "You know, it seems dangerous."
Halbreich says security would be extremely tight at the range in every respect, noting that his Douglasville operation has a perfecttrack record.