Guns and Gear

Northern Virginia Residents Mount Campaign To Oust Second Gun Store

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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A Northern Virginia gun store will likely face the same opposition another firearm retailer endured when it attempted to move into Arlington.

Residents of Arlington’s Lyon Park neighborhood set up a petition to oppose the new retail tenant, NOVA Armory, which is moving into the neighborhood soon.

This is the second firearms retail store a group of gun control-minded Arlington residents wanted to kick out of the community. Individuals behind the petition complain that the gun store “is in a residential location and literally next door to a day care/after-care school, the Merit School of Arlington.”

“It is also within blocks of Long Branch Elementary, and less than a mile from Key Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.”

“We, the citizens of Arlington County, oppose a gun shop at this location. We are alarmed to hear of these plans just weeks before opening, when there was so much controversy around similar plans to open a gun shop in Cherrydale. That effort was thwarted due to community opposition, and we ask that the landlords of 2300 N Pershing Drive also hear the citizens’ concerns,” the petition reads in part.

Arlington County officials told The Washington Post that unless there’s a change in the land use, no notice is required when a new store is about to open. According to the application for the occupancy permit, Dennis Pratte, Richard P. and Norma P. Taylor are listed as store owners.

The Post received a text message from the number listed on the permit that stated the store’s focus will be on skeet, trap and hunting arms and is a “safe, family-friendly sporting arms business.”

“We have passed all our federal, state and county inspections,” the text said. “We cater to a niche market and look forward to being a contributor to our local community.”

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