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New shooting range to open in Baraboo, some residents concerned about opportunities for violence

New shooting range to open in Baraboo, some residents concerned about opportunities for violence

BARABOO, Wis. - DEZ Tactical Arms has plans to open a new shooting range by the end of the year. 

Brian Zawistowski has owned the retail store in Wisconsin Dells for the past three years and is excited about this opportunity to expand. 

"It just allows us to do so much more as far as offering education, a place for people to shoot and shoot safely," Zawistowski said. "It kind of completes the company as far as where we want to take it."

The new facility will be located at 1223 South Blvd. in Baraboo. Zawistowski said his retail store, currently located in Wisconsin Dells, will move into the new facility as a one-stop shop. 

Zawistowski said even before work began on the new shooting range, he received phone calls nearly every day with people asking for a "place to shoot safely indoors."

"They're a part of our culture," he said. "People really do need to be able to use them properly."

Zawistowski said the Baraboo Plan Commission voted 6-0 to approve the plans to build the shooting range. He added people have been coming in every day signing up for more information on when the range will open and what they will offer. 

Despite the support from many community members, there are people who do not want the shooting range near their homes. 

"It's going to create chaos eventually, in my eyes," said resident Alex Coan, who lives nearby the new shooting range site. "If you have an area here where you have all these guns and all this, it could possibly bring a little more violence to the area."

Zawistowski said he understands there are people who aren't in favor, "but what we are all about, and what were supporting and contributing, is all legal."

Zawistowski said new classes with trained instructors will be provided at the shooting range to offer educational opportunities that are not currently available in the community. The new classes include hunting safety, youth instruction, women's classes, conceal carry courses and more. 

"Being able to do sales and then being able to say, you know, 'Do you want some education to go along with that?' To be able to teach them, as well, and not just send them out the door and say, 'Hey, good luck.'"

But Coan still isn't sold on the idea.  He said, "If you bring something like this to an area that has already had issues with a lot of drug-related matters, I don't believe it's going to be good for the area. People who want to carry those weapons, that's their right, but don't bring that in this area."

More information on the shooting range can be found on the DEZ Tactical Arms website: http://www.deztacticalarms.com/indoor-range.html

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