• September 29, 2016

New gun store near school drawing attention

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Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 10:07 pm

A new gun store opening fewer than 100 yards from Manor Middle School in Killeen has been a hot topic online.

Many people, including parents of students, said Marksmen Firearms, 2103 S. WS Young Drive, poses no higher risk than a liquor store or a gas station.

“The owner has the choice to allow them (children) or deny them entry without a legal parent or guardian,” said resident Andrea Forte. “The opportunity for them to purchase is not even an option. It is more likely the students will pay off an adult to purchase alcohol or cigarettes from the convenience store located closer to the school.”

Others in gun-friendly Texas said its a nonissue.

“I don’t have a problem with a gun store across the street from a schoolhouse,” said Greg Noller, of Fort Hood.

While many others voiced similar sentiments online, some felt concerned about a gun store being so close to the school.

“I’m a little upset that whoever backed up the owner would think it was cute to put a gun store across from a middle school,” said Treasure Neal, who has a sister who goes to Manor Middle School. “Do these people want us to kill each other? With all the gun killings going on, why would you even bring another gun store into Killeen? I guess its because of the money. Seems like those who support this store don’t care about the lives being lost.”

Annie Thornhill, another local resident, said she’s concerned that silencers may be tested on the premises of the store, which could lead to safety issues for students at Manor.

“I was formerly employed by the parent company of the gun store opening across from your local school,” Thornhill said. “Parents should be concerned.”

She said it is common for similar gun stores to test guns and silencers outside.

The company said it won’t allow guns to be shot on the premises.

There is no current law that prohibits gun retail stores from being in proximity to school zones in the state of Texas.

“Marksmen Firearms is proud to be afforded the privilege to serve the residents of Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove and surrounding communities,” said a news release from the gun store’s public relations department. “Marksmen looks forward to being a good neighbor, and a partner with police, sportsmen, hunters, and anyone else interested in personal protection. Marksmen intends to provide quality service and products, with a goal of enhancing awareness of gun safety, and responsible gun ownership. Marksmen will offer firearms training and licensing courses to those interested in furtherance of these goals.”

The company said it is within all federal, state and local laws and plans to educate customers on the laws of carrying guns legally.

Killeen Independent School District also has heard some complaints about the store.

“A parent recently expressed a concern regarding the opening of a new gun store in proximity to Manor Middle School,” the district said in a statement. “After researching the matter, no laws were identified restricting the location of gun stores/dealers in proximity to schools.”

KISD went on to say: “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.”

While some parents seem concerned about gun access so close to the school, many people on the Herald’s Facebook page said there is no issue at hand currently.

quinton@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7568

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • nulisecundus posted at 7:04 am on Sat, Sep 24, 2016.

    nulisecundus Posts: 636

    to uoeno it's plain to see you are the racial BIGOT, give it a break.

  • nulisecundus posted at 7:02 am on Sat, Sep 24, 2016.

    nulisecundus Posts: 636

    minors can't purchase a firearm, I doubt they would be allowed in the store, calm down gun grabber democrats, it's a non issue.[smile]

  • UOENO posted at 11:52 am on Fri, Sep 23, 2016.

    UOENO Posts: 3

    This would never happen across the street from say ummm a "predominately white school". Maybe its just me! Its just another coincidence! My bad.

  • Jim F Longley posted at 12:03 pm on Thu, Sep 22, 2016.

    Jim F Longley Posts: 1

    First of all, knowing the area, this is an interesting redefinition of "across the street." In order to get from the school you must cross TWO streets, South WS Young AND Illinois Ave.

    Google Earth shows the distance to be significantly more than 100 yards, it is almost 100 yards to get from one side of the intersection to the other.

    And silencers? Horrors! But wait, silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and not for sale over the counter to just anyone, you must have a Federal License to purchase, or even hold one. And no one is going to be "testing" them anywhere in the store or outside.

    Harold Hill would be proud - "There is trouble, right here in Killeen city, trouble with a capital 'T' which rhymes with 'G' and that's guns."

  • eyewatchingu posted at 10:12 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2016.

    eyewatchingu Posts: 50

    Maybe parents should take this as a sign, and start educating your children about gun safety rather or not you believe in guns. Gun safety is very important to start teaching at a young age, just like teaching your child the stove is hot, or not to go up to strangers or strange dogs. Maybe the school can teach gun safety, sadly guns are part of the world and will be here a long time.

  • texasgoat posted at 9:34 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2016.

    texasgoat Posts: 74

    Testing of silencers on the premises oh my!

  • ImJustSayin posted at 7:51 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2016.

    ImJustSayin Posts: 181

    It is not like they are going to give away free ammo or firearms .......
    I see no issues with this store being where it is.

  • dzavoina posted at 7:21 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2016.

    dzavoina Posts: 2

    If I were a parent of a child attending Manor JHS, I would be more concerned with my child crossing WS Young to go to the convenience store.
    More children are killed and injured from traffic accidents than any other single cause.