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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Arlington Residents Seek to Stop Gun Shop from Opening

Saturday a week ago the Washington Post had this article about a group of residents in the city of Arlington, Virginia, attempting to stop NOVA Firearms owner James Gates from opening a location on Lee Highway in the city. Gates wants to open the shop because he has out grown his store in McLean and needs a second location.  The malcontent residents have started an online petition and the Post notes that it has already collected 17,000 signatures at the time of the article. The Post didn't report that not everyone who has signed the petition is against the store opening.  Signing the petition is the only way you can leave a comment, and some of those comments are in support of NOVA.   It should also be noted that Gates has already signed the lease with the owner of the strip mall so this is a bit late to try and stop the store from opening.

It's not like Lee Highway is a quiet neighborhood street - it is a bustling major thoroughfare and as the Post article points out, there is already a pawn shop that sells firearms less than 10 blocks from where Gates wants to open his business:
We’re not trying to make anybody mad or upset. We want to be part of the community,” he said in a telephone interview from his store in McLean. “We’ll have security and classes on safe handling of firearms, and safe carry. People who have questions should give us a call and give us a chance.”

They might also take a look fewer than 10 blocks east on Lee Highway, where National Pawnbrokers has been selling firearms for years. The manager there, who identified himself as David, said gun sales are a steady and uncontroversial part of the business.
The story continues to get a lot of media attention with NBC 4 in Washington picking up the story on Thursday night.
It's not just the residents in the area but Gates' future business neighbors are also joining those opposed to the store opening.
Jane Winter, who works at the flower shop next door to the vacant storefront, said NOVA doesn't fit in to the strip mall that includes a restaurant, hair salon and nail salon.
There is a reason some refer to the city as "The Peoples Republic of Arlington." It's about the closest thing to San Francisco that you will find in Virginia.

Cam Edwards of Sportsman Channel's NRANews Cam and Company spoke with Gates on Thursday to get his side of the story.

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