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      City officials consider plan for gun range in Keokuk

      Shooting a gun inside Keokuk city limits soon could be legal.

      Some members of Keokuk's City Council and police department want to add a shooting range outside of the city's downtown area, near the Missouri border.

      Keokuk police officers could soon have a new place to sharpen their skills.

      "We have some property down on South Seventh just before you cross the bridge into Missouri," Marion said. "We use it to get some sand and dirt for some of our projects here in town, no homes, so it's an ideal lot area for a firing range."

      Currently, the Keokuk Police Department sends officers to the Iowa State Penitentiary to re-certify their firearms. But sending officers out of town several times a year for training is too expensive.

      "It would save us a lot of money, because we're paying our police officers to travel up to Fort Madison and back to do their qualifying," Marion said. "So it would save us that money, travel money, payment for the officers themselves."

      Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion is one of the people who supports the idea to build the range.

      It will cost the city around a $1000 dollars to build and it will allow many officers to receive fire arm training at the same time.

      "It probably be multiple shooter, I'd say probably 10 to 15 shooter range," Marion said. "So that we could qualify as many as we need."

      Marion said the development of the range is in an early phase, but a proposal could be submitted to city council next week.

      "There's not a lot of labor involved," Marion said. "We would have to build some berms, so that we could protect the area that the bullets would go, anywhere but there," Marion said. "It would probably take a month or so."

      Marion said if the city council approves the proposal, the range could be built by this summer.

      The next city council meeting is April 17.

      The range would be used onl by law enforcement at first, but there are plans to open it up to residents as well.