Massachusetts Town Blocks Gun Shop From Doing Business

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The anti-gun witch hunt in Newton, Massachusetts that led to hundreds of residents in the town of Newton demanding that a new gun shop in town be shut down appears to have gotten their way, at least for the moment. The city’s now issued a stop-work order for the owner, preventing him from doing any more renovations on the facility while the mayor and city council members scramble to find a way to keep the business from opening its doors to customers.

“Every single councilor has signed on to an item that’s very specific about looking into what kind of regulations we can put on gun stores,” City Councilor Rick Lipof said in a phone interview.

The Ward 8 at-large councilor and vice-president of the council estimated the council had received about 100 emails a day since Friday, the day after it came to light a gun shop was proposed for 709 Washington St.

“If I received 500 emails, 495 have been against, and five have been for the shop,” he said.

There is just shy of 1,700 registered gun owners in Newton, he said. But, because of the history we are living right now, it’s a bad time to open a gun shop, he said.

It’s an even worse time to come out against the responsible exercise of a civil right, but the anti-gun bigots in Newton don’t seem to have figured that out yet.

“The downside of having guns out they are in our face in a daily basis,” Lipof said. “And any reasonable person would want greater control on who ends up with a gun in their hand.”

I think Massachusetts gun laws are completely unreasonable, but Lipof and the other gun store haters should be aware of the fact that before any firearm is sold in the new gun shop, the buyer will have received permission from their local police department as well as passing a background check. Even those restrictions aren’t enough for the anti-gun mob, because at the end of the day they don’t want anyone exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Residents say they are concerned about how a gun shop could influence the neighborhood.

“My biggest concern is the proximity to schools and a residential neighborhood, which has a lot of families with young children,” said Tim Stehly who lives nearby with his pregnant wife and toddler.

“There have been studies relating to the location of [gun shops] and increases in gun related suicides,” he added. “Personally, I don’t think anyone in this country needs a gun, but I understand that will never happen. I don’t understand why my children and all those children who go to school within a 1 miles radius of this store should sacrifice their safety, so someone can purchase a weapon.”

The proposed gun shop is located literally next door to a marijuana dispensary. Now, I can’t find the study on gun shops and suicides that Stehly mentioned, but I did find a study that found a statistically significant increase in violent crimes in Denver neighborhoods after the opening of dispensaries. If Stehly is really worried about businesses impacting the safety of area kids, he should be focused on the dispensary and not the gun shop (on a personal note, however, I’m fine with both businesses operating in the community).

Nobody’s safety is being sacrificed because legally authorized individuals are purchasing firearms a mile away from a public school. This is a lame argument made in an attempt to justify the irrational fears of adults, not the safety of their kids, and with the community in the grips of a moral panic at the moment, they’ll say and do anything to keep the store from operating.

The town is now looking at trying to retroactively change the zoning ordinances to block the business completely, and a public hearing’s been scheduled for early next month. I hope that more of the 1,700 registered gun owners in Newton start speaking out, because if the mob is successful at shutting down the town’s new gun shop, it will turn its attention on the gun-owning residents next.

Jul 27, 2021 12:30 PM ET