Former Border Patrol Agent Christopher O’Conner had planned to open the Firearms Defense Training Center, which would have been Chicago’s first gun shop, in a River West warehouse. The center was to include a full-service gun range and shop in a 25,000-square-foot facility modeled after the Apple store. But now, after previously giving O’Conner the go-ahead, Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. has now said he won’t permit the business to open in his ward.Burnett said last week he was in favor of giving gun owners a safe venue for learning to shoot, but now says he was unaware the proposal included a gun store. Citing concerns about illegal gun sales, he told DNAinfo Chicago, “If that trend is going to start, it’s not going to be in my ward. I don’t feel comfortable with that.”
O’Conner, who claims the range couldn’t survive or attract new customers without the store, is now looking for an alternate location.