Guns and Gear

Embattled Virginia Gun Store Sues Government Officials Intent On Shutting It Down

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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The ownership of an Arlington, Virginia gun store filed a lawsuit last Monday against state officials and some local residents for engaging in a “conspiracy to injure another in his trade or business.”

NOVA Armory, is asking for $2,101,441.14 in damages for lost revenue, physical and personal security expenses, phone number changes, time lost related to the phone number changes, and damages to the business’ reputation, The Washingtonian reported.

According to reports, seven elected officials, which include Virginia state Delegates Mark H. Levine and Patrick Alan Hope and state Senators Janet Denison Howell and Barbara Favola, signed a letter on March 2 asking the store’s landlord to reconsider giving NOVA Armory a lease.

The suit calls the officials’ action “constituted an abuse of official authority” and that the intent of the “conspiracy” was to run NOVA Armory “out of business at the Arlington County location by the use of unlawful means.”

Daniel L. Hawes, attorney for the store, told The Washingtonian, “What these people are doing is not within the scope of their legislative duties. They’re not acting as state legislators in doing this. They’re using the power of their office to attempt to shut my client’s store down.”

The lawsuit also alleges that others named in the suit, totaling 64 individuals named, characterized themselves as ‘protesters’” but that “they have merely been disruptors, attempting to destroy Plaintiff’s business and reputation, stalking the store with signs, parking cars covered with documents referring to horrible deaths, attempting to coërce and intimidate tenants of the same facility, etc.”

The gun control organization known as Act4LyonPark is encouraging volunteers to ask local retailers in the neighborhood to post a “No Guns Allowed” sign in their store and call the landlord to tell her “what you think.”

Hawes told The Washington Post, “People generally don’t like it if you try to destroy their business. That’s malicious behavior.”

He said someone has been following customers who leave the store and taking photos of their cars and license plates. “There’s been all sorts of creepy stuff by people with a morbid obsession, a neurotic obsession, with firearms.”

He added, “They are really dangerous people.”

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