Massachusetts Town Seeks To Limit Where Gun Stores Can Open

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

For the sake of argument, let’s say that there was no argument about the absolute nature of the Second Amendment. What could anti-gun people do to keep people from having firearms? Well, the simplest answer would be to heavily restrict gun stores themselves. If you can’t buy a gun, you won’t have a gun.

By heavily regulating stores, you can create a serious impact on gun ownership without ever really telling people they can’t have a gun.

Granted, I’m not sure the courts would agree in such a situation, but they might.

Meanwhile, we live in a world where not everyone agrees about the Second Amendment. In this world, they’re still trying to regulate gun stores.

At least one Massachusetts town is.

A gun store’s arrival in Newton earlier this year sparked outrage and a hasty — and at times controversial — process to limit firearm sales in the city.

With a proposed zoning bylaw change, Brookline is hoping to preempt a similar headache.

A warrant article for fall Town Meeting, filed last week, proposes limiting where a firearm business could be located in town, stipulating buffers around residential properties, private and public K-12 schools, childcare facilities and other firearm businesses.

Under the proposal, firearm businesses would only be allowed by special permit in General Business (G) zoning districts, which includes certain areas near Route 9 on the Newton border, Commonwealth Avenue on the Allston border, Washington Square, Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village, per a town zoning map.

Newton’s experience “got everybody’s attention, I think, about potentially a flaw in the town’s land use that might allow gun stores in places we don’t want,” Town Administrator Mel Kleckner said during a Select Board discussion of the proposal last week.

Now, understand that such buffers aren’t unusual around certain businesses such as liquor stores.

However, this is a bit different. Liquor stores tend to have drunk people showing up to get more alcohol, thus creating an issue for nearby homes and schools. Oh, don’t get me wrong, not everyone who walks into a liquor store is drunk. Most aren’t. But a busy store still might see several intoxicated people in a day, which creates those problems.

Yet, gun stores aren’t like that. People don’t walk out of a gun store and start blasting away. They walk in, look around, maybe buy something, then leave quietly. Gun stores tend to be quiet places.

So why would the city of Newton do this? Easy. They don’t like guns.

Honestly, that’s the only reason. There’s no reason to believe people are less safe than they were before it opened or that it will somehow make the community surrounding the store become undesirable. It’s nothing more than a pathetic attempt to make it more difficult for law-abiding people to lawfully purchase a firearm.

That’s it.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that Newton’s criminal element has no issue getting guns before the store was there. They’re certainly not getting them from the store now, either, so people in town need to chill.

Unfortunately, when you demonize the Second Amendment for so long as they’ve done in Massachusetts, this is what happens.

Oct 18, 2021 4:30 PM ET