JOHNSTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – Northern Colorado will soon be home to the largest firearms facility in the state, and one of the biggest in the country.
Johnstown has officially approved the USA Gun Institute, which will be built in the southwest corner of Interstate 25 and Highway 34, but not everyone is happy about it.
The town council voted to approve the plans to build the massive complex just north of the Thompson Crossing Development. Residents there have been fighting the issue, but now have lost their battle.
With only a handful of shooting ranges to choose from, gun enthusiasts in Northern Colorado have few options.
“This is going got be an upscale place to shoot your gun, to learn gun safety, and to be around people that know gun safety,” USA Liberty Firearms owner John Mason said on July 10.
The 100,000 square foot complex boasts a retail gun shop, five indoor shooting ranges, and a restaurant; making it the largest facility in the state. Johnstown town council’s vote to green light the project was a hard loss for the Thompson Crossing Home Owners Association.
“There is a lot of vacant land in this particular part of Colorado. We thought there could be a more sensible location,” said Rick Callahan, Thompson Crossing HOA President.
The luxury home community fought against the proposal. Instead, town council agreed to have the institute move its front entrance away from neighborhood traffic. But residents say that’s not enough to make them feel safe.
“They have addressed a lot of the safety issues inside the facility, but what goes on outside in the parking lot when you have all of these weapons going in and out of this kind of facility? Things do happen, accidents do happen,” Callahan said.
Nobody from USA Liberty Firearms was able to be interviewed on Tuesday, but they said they will break ground in September and hope to open doors next August.