New Killeen gun store near middle school raises concern

Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 18:24:41-04

As soon as the signs for Marksmen Firearms went up at 2103 W.S. Young Drive in Killeen, so did Manor Middle School parent's concerns to the Killeen Independent School District.

The gun shop is only a block away from the middle school. 

Daniel Pettyjohn's son is a sixth grader at Manor and said like any parent, he wants to protect his children.

He said he was open to the idea of having the shop across from the school

"Look at the facts and look at the statistics, and you'll notice any place where there is a higher rate of gun ownership in a higher rate concealed carry there are less crimes," Pettyjohn said.

General Counsel for Marksmen Firearms Wesly Maness said the company chose the location because it is a busy road close to the highway and minutes from Fort Hood.

"I don't believe we pose a threat to anybody next door or 10 miles down the road," Maness said. "It's a military town, its got the same family values and principles we look for in a gun store and we saw a need."

He said most of the feedback he's gotten was positive and wanted to reassure parents they have nothing to worry about.

"Everything in here is secure," Maness said. "We are not going to let kids come in and take guns. The guns themselves aren't going to walk across the street."

The store is equipped with cameras, a security system and bars to keep unwanted guests out.

Owners said the only way anyone leaves with a weapon is if they are over 18 and licensed.

If they are not licensed, a customer must pass a background check and have it locked away and unloaded. 

"There will be no shooting going on here," Maness said. "These are just unloaded weapons that people are gonna come and buy or not buy or just browse around and look at."

On Wednesday they released the following statement:

A parent recently expressed a concern regarding the opening of a new gun store
in proximity to Manor Middle School. After researching the matter, no laws were
identified restricting the location of gun stores/dealers in proximity to schools.
Furthermore, city officials were contacted by the district and affirmed the
absence of legislation restricting the proximity of gun stores to schools, nor
noted zoning restrictions to be in place. Open campus lunches do not apply to middle school campuses within the district.
No faculty members have raised concerns to the knowledge of district
administration. The Killeen Independent School District is committed to ensuring
the safety of our students and staff and we will continue to implement
appropriate procedures and protocol to include, but not limited to maintaining
closed campuses and visitor check-­-in procedures during the instructional day.

Marksmen Firearms will also host CHL classes in the near future its grand opening is October 1 at 10 a.m. 

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