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NEWS NEARBY: Gun Range Can Serve Alcohol; Child Abduction Arrest in Gwinnett

News from Patch sites in the Atlanta area.

Powder Springs Gun Range OK'd to Serve Alcohol -- West Cobb Patch

One of the two alcohol licenses approved by the Powder Springs City Council on Monday (Sept. 17) came with little discussion and no debate.

It was for wine and beer sales for the recently opened Loma Pizzeria on Sailors Parkway. The license passed 4-1.

But the other license, awarded to the $3.5 million Governor’s Gun Club being built at the corner of C.H. James Parkway and Sterlingbrooke Drive, was full of points and rebuttals.

Do you agree with allowing alcohol sales at gun ranges? Tell us in the comments below.

The small selection of alcohol would be served during the hours allowed by Powder Springs law and in a lounge secured with a special key given just to members. The only people under 21 who could enter are the children of members, and they wouldn’t be allowed to drink.

“It’s not really anything new. It’s what things are changing to,” owner Kristina Brown said, noting alcohol is served in ranges in Arizona and Kentucky. Drinks wouldn’t be a “profit center,” she explained, but rather a perk.

Guns would not be permitted in the lounge, and once inside, customers couldn’t return to the shooting range. A gun valet system with lockers will be available, but customers could still exit the building with their weapons.

“So what happens in the parking lot?” Council member Nancy Hudson asked at the work session before the meeting. She said she had received calls from two “very upset” constituents. “I come from a family of hunters. We have guns … but alcohol and guns do not mix.”

Ann Harmon, whose Elliot Road home backs up to the site, was one of two residents to step up to the microphone in opposition. She said she has no objections to the gun club, and that her husband and son frequent one.

“But I do want to make one complete statement: that alcohol and guns do not mix,” she said.

Mayor Pat Vaughn said the council has “shared your concerns, but I think they have some pretty good safety measures in place.”

Background checks and questionnaires will be given, and members must sign a contract ensuring they follow all the safety rules, said Brown’s husband, Bert, with Acworth-based EGAD Architectural and Engineering, which specializes in gun ranges.

Ground was broken on the project in June, and if all goes to plan, the range could open either before Christmas or shortly after the New Year.

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Lawrenceville Man Arrested in Alleged Abduction Attempt -- Lawrenceville Patch

According to Gwinnett County Police, Jean Souffrant, 40, of 1418 Great Shoals Circle in Lawrenceville, was arrested on Sept. 17 and charged with one count of kidnapping in connection with an attempted child abduction.

In a press release, a spokesman for GCPD said officers from the East Precinct responded to a call for a suspicious person at Bay Creek Park in Loganville.

"Information given by the caller explained that a black male approximately 5’11”, wearing a white t-shirt, blue shorts, glasses and flip flops was acting strange, approaching children at a football practice and trying to get them to leave with him," Detective J.R. Flanagan wrote in a press release. "According to the caller, the suspicious male tried to leave with two separate juveniles; both of which were able to get away from the male and were safe with the 911 caller."

Flanagan said officers identified Souffrant when they arrived at the park and although he denied talking to any children, he was unable to provide any legitimate reason for being at the park.  

"In speaking with officers, Souffrant was unable to speak clearly and his explanations changed several times while being interviewed," Flanagan said. 

Flanagan said that after speaking with several witnesses and the two children whom Souffrant approached, they determined that Souffrant approached one juvenile at the concession stand, grabbing him and dragging him against his will towards the bleachers next to one of the field entrances. 

Souffrant was arrested and charged with one count of kidnapping, Flanagan said. He is currently being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond.

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