(IN) Gunsmith denied OK to open shop


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Drizzt
July 29, 2005, 03:54 PM
Gunsmith denied OK to open shop

Resident planned home-based business

By Jenni Glenn

The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeals shot down a south-side man’s request to operate a firearms business from his home Thursday.

Indiana Avenue resident Brock Bell wanted to work part time as a precision gunsmith, who would make competition rifles shoot more accurately. But the Board of Zoning Appeals decided the business could harm the community and was not in the public interest.

About 15 neighbors who attended the meeting argued there was nothing to stop Bell from expanding the business and selling guns.

The business could have reduced property values and increased crime in the neighborhood, said Melissa Skalicky, president of the West Rudisill Neighborhood Association. People who were looking for guns might have broken into nearby homes if they knew there was a firearms business in the area, she said.

Skalicky said several neighbors planned to sell their homes for below-market price if the firearms business were approved.

The residents were concerned they would not be able to sell if they waited while property values dropped, she said.

“I beg of you, please don’t do this to the south side of town,” she said.

Bell needed the board’s approval to obtain a federal firearms license that would have allowed him to ship and receive firearms in the mail. Most of his customers would have been from outside the region because competition shooting is a specialized hobby, he said.

Bell said he planned to keep the guns secured in a safe to discourage break-ins. At most, he would have stored five guns in his home while he was repairing and upgrading the weapons.

Bell also said no more than one customer would visit the business a week. He said he wanted to reassure the neighbors that the business would be run responsibly.

“I appreciate their concerns,” he said. “That’s why I had to address their concerns upfront.”

Six of Bell’s neighbors and a police officer signed letters supporting the business.

But the business’s potential benefit to a few local customers in a specialized field did not override the neighbors’ concerns, Board of Zoning Appeals member Andy Downs said. The business would not have been compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, he said.

“In my opinion, I don’t see how the public convenience and welfare will be met,” he said.

Although Bell planned to focus on repairing and improving competition rifles, the federal license would have allowed him to sell other guns. Marcia Heymann, chairwoman of the zoning committee for the Southwest Area Partnership, said she worried the gunsmith business would expand into sales.

“The issue becomes not necessarily the intent in selling (guns),” she said, “it’s the ability to sell them.”

http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/fortwayne/news/local/12254018.htm

....or someone might say the word "gun" and little old ladies would be fainting....

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Nicky Santoro
July 29, 2005, 04:33 PM
Gunsmith denied OK to open shop


BTDT here in Nazi Jersey. Local PD used to show up at my house at all hours when they buggered up their Smiths. I no longer assist as the chief was an actor in the drama.

Art Eatman
July 29, 2005, 07:13 PM
I guess I'd be more aggravated at this but for the fact that it is very common for cities to not allow doing any sort of business in a residential area.

I see the antis reasons as specious, of course. Not in touch with reality.

Art

Monkeyleg
July 29, 2005, 07:18 PM
Let me get this straight: these fine citizens are concerned that the guy's house might get burglarized if he has a gunsmithing business there. And somehow that would affect the rest of the neighborhood, and so they denied him permission.

Perhaps this community group should require that people get permission to buy large-screen TV's, expensive computers, stereo systems, jewelry, or other items prized by burglars.

esheato
July 29, 2005, 07:21 PM
This phrase scares me the most.
“The issue becomes not necessarily the intent in selling (guns),” she said, “it’s the ability to sell them.”
He doesn't have intent...just the ability to buy/sell guns. They denied him because of his ability to do something completely within the law. Jesus, what's wrong with these people.

Ed

ClonaKilty
July 29, 2005, 08:37 PM
“In my opinion, I don’t see how the public convenience and welfare will be met,” he said.

To me this is the scariest part of the story. I guess I should have known this was the case, but I am frightened that "public convenience and welfare" is a standard for zoning/opening a business. Talk about handing open-ended power to a lowly bureaucrat.

Telperion
July 29, 2005, 08:43 PM
Skalicky said several neighbors planned to sell their homes for below-market price if the firearms business were approved.

The residents were concerned they would not be able to sell if they waited while property values dropped, she said.
Whiners. I'd love to a pro smith right across the street.

ZeroX
July 29, 2005, 08:52 PM
Buncha babies. I'd love to have that kind of convenience.

Vang
July 29, 2005, 08:53 PM
This is why we have to get rid of zoning laws.

Dmack_901
July 29, 2005, 08:58 PM
They might as well pass zoning laws that restrict minorities from living there...

That would guarentee higher home values, and lower crime rates. </sarcasim>

Having a in-the-house gunsmith isn't going to hurt anyone, but then again I'm part of this choir too. Maybe they know better than us. I'm just glad I don't live there.

chris in va
July 29, 2005, 09:39 PM
The business could have reduced property values and increased crime in the neighborhood, said Melissa Skalicky, president of the West Rudisill Neighborhood Association.

I absolutely, positively HATE homeowners associations. Despise them. Ugh. :barf:

So glad I moved away from one recently. I can plow my own driveway, thank you very much.

hifi
July 29, 2005, 09:42 PM
This used to be a capitalist free enterpriser country.

JohnKSa
July 29, 2005, 10:36 PM
They can't stop him from getting an FFL. And they can't stop him from doing the same kind of business as long as he goes and picks up firearms or has them shipped to him.

MarkDido
July 29, 2005, 11:25 PM
“The issue becomes not necessarily the intent in selling (guns),” she said, “it’s the ability to sell them.

Using that logic, every women in that neighborhood has the "ability" to be a prostitute, but not necessarily the "intent"

Standing Wolf
July 29, 2005, 11:28 PM
If I lived in that neighborhood, I'd move away from those "people."

Alex45ACP
July 29, 2005, 11:30 PM
Can we do anything anymore without having to ask the government permission?

Art Eatman
July 30, 2005, 12:07 AM
JohnKSa, ATF won't give you an FFL if you're not in accord with zoning regs.

Alex, consider the thrill of paying "rent"--ad valorem taxes--on paid-for land...

Art

JohnBT
July 30, 2005, 08:58 AM
There's nothing new about zoning. From the Legal Information Institute:

"The first zoning ordinance was passed in New York City in 1916 and by the 1930s, most states had adopted zoning laws. By the 1970s, concerns about the environment and historic preservation led to further regulation."

The man needs new business plan if he wants to be a gunsmith.

John

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