District’s First Gun Range Could Be Built Near Family Homeless Shelter

The neighborhood around the 2000 block of Queens Chapel Road NE keeps getting more interesting. It's already home to a concert venue, a marijuana farm,a strip club, and potentially a new Muriel Bowser-backed shelter for homeless families.

Now the area could also host the District's first gun range.

Concealed carry firearm trainer Leon Spears plans to bring the combination gun store and range to 2128 Queens Chapel Rd. NE sometime next year, whether Bowser wants him to or not. Both Bowser and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, whose ward includes the tumultuous block, didn't respond to LL's requests for comment.

"I know the mayor's office has stressed emphatically that she particularly does not care for firearms, but there is a constitutional need," Spears says. 

Another controversial business on Queens Chapel Road likely won't convince Ward 5 residents that their ward isn't a "dumping ground" for businesses that aren't welcome in other parts of the city. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Walter DeLeon, whose 5C district includes the potential gun range, says his constituents are already troubled by the businesses that are already there.

"If two nightclubs make residents uncomfortable, I can’t imagine how a gun range would make people feel," DeLeon says.

The gun range could also complicate Bowser's proposal to put a family homeless shelters at 2266 25th Pl. NE, a short walk away from the planned gun range. The site has already been attacked for its many real estate woes, including its proximity to the Stadium Club strip club and its distance from grocery stores. Putting the shelter there, the Post pointed out last week, would put asthmatic children right next to a bus depot.

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