gun store sales
(AP Photo/Dan Sewell)
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Newton, Massachusetts has contemplated changing the town’s zoning laws to ban Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) from setting up shop there. But now they’re putting an outright ban on hold.

The Boston Globe reports that the town’s Planning & Zoning Committee recommended not moving forward with the changes. The city council took the Committee’s advice and voted 21-3 on Monday to strike down the proposed zoning changes out of fear of a potential court battle. They realized gun owners and businesses could easily argue the ban was an infringement upon their Second Amendment rights.

This is all a reaction, you may remember, to the prospect of a new gun store opening up in Newton’s quaint downtown area. The prospect of an arms dealer in their little town didn’t go over well with many of the locals.

Joseph Kammouj wants to open a shop on Washington Street in downtown Newton where a variety of shops are located including The Great Remedies marijuana dispensary. A sign was posted on a door at 709 Washington street, announcing the opening of Newton Firearms.

Almost immediately Newton residents started a petition to prevent the business opening in their town. The petition, which has more than 6,000 signatures so far, declares the presence of a gun store in Newton “Would undermine our reputation as a welcoming and progressive city.”

That prompted a proposal to ban gun stores in Newton outright.

Newton, Mass gun store
Courtesy Facebook

Duke University Law Professor Darrell Miller, however, said an outright ban would almost guarantee the city would be involved in a court battle.

“If you end up banning gun stores by law from the region, somebody is going to raise a Second Amendment issue,” Miller told the Globe in June. “And an issue that hasn’t been adjudicated, will be adjudicated on that basis.”

City attorney Alissa Giuliani shared similar concerns in a memo to council members.

“Put bluntly, when considering the risks of litigation in the name of fighting the good fight, the real risk here is that the City’s ability to regulate gun stores could be diminished, if not removed entirely, and that decision would impact every community in the country,” Giuliani wrote.

The city council’s vote comes after they passed new requirements for gun-related businesses. In order to open a gun shop, range, or offer gunsmithing services, the business has to apply for a special permit to be voted on by the council. The council also designated specific zoning locations where FFLs and ranges can establish their business.

Although the council voted down the zoning changes, two members, Emily Norton of Ward 2 and Leonard Gentile of Ward 4, still want an outright ban. They’ve offered an amendment to the city’s ordinances that would prohibit the sale and manufacturing of firearms would be prohibited in Newton.

Norton and Gentile’s amendment is currently making its way through the City Council’s Programs & Services and Finance committees. The amendment is expected to come back before the council later this fall. Stay tuned.

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  1. Can We The People petition to kick municipalities/cities/states out of the Union?

    That would be stellar. Like a whole “Pound sand, you’re on your own now, sucka” moment.

    • well, being as they control distribution, you may want to avoid putting such a tool in their hand to use against you.

      • How about from the start we move a legitimate business and its customers off target and zero in and shoot down the Gun Free Zone Signs and the incompetent Rats behind those signs that misled gullible newton parents and held the door open for insanity to happen?

        Time after time the guilty party spins it and skates and those that had zip, nada nothing to do with any of it are placed on the defensive. Gun Control has way too much filthy baggage to continue allowing sneaky Gun Control zealots to skate and get the upper hand.

        Where I come from if you falsely accuse someone you either get sued or get your behind handed to you. It stops where it begins.

        • Think you are saying….“Our civil rights are not contingent upon other people’s behavior”. But, then, that’s why Libturds demonize the gun rather than the Defective Citizen doing the bad deed. They could not care less about the bad guy’s deed, the dead bodies. They only care about We The Little Peeps having the ability to resist.
          The bodies in a local WalMart or grocery store or school or church……the bad guy with a gun…..or the gang member with a gun…. the mentally deficient guy with a gun……or the terribly distraught family member of a gun shooting victim…… or a gun violence survivor……or the Feelz-Gooder Social Do-Gooder….. or the the “hair-on-fire, we’re-all-gonna-die” contingent……or the skin color only voter…..are the politician’s easily manipulated Useful Idiot Tools to achieve his power and control agenda.
          The new agenda for humanity requires that no one will have the capacity to fight back. It has been said: “Our Task of creating a Socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.” No other explanation is possible.

  2. “’Put bluntly, when considering the risks of litigation in the name of fighting the good fight, the real risk here is that the City’s ability to regulate gun stores could be diminished, if not removed entirely, and that decision would impact every community in the country,’ Giuliani wrote.”

    most pro-2nd are not pro-rights, they’re just “me me me, and the rest of you better leave me alone!” so here on display is why the left does so well. they think tactically and strategically, long term, action vs consequence. more than that, they think and operate en masse socially – they have a huge body of organization and finance to draw upon. they’re like a bulldozer rolling over ants.

    now do you understand why they hate national socialists so much? why, at the first sign of any organized resistance against them, they scream “naazi! naazi! naazi!”?

    • I’ve understood for quite a while now that the Left screams “Nazi!” at everyone who disagrees with them for two primary reasons:

      1. It’s effective.

      The Nazis are the world’s most well-known murderous totalitarians, and are hated for very good reason. Only idiots would purposefully align themselves with the German Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.

      2. The best way to fly under the radar socially, morally, and politically is to associate your enemies with the very things you’re guilty of.

      By screaming “Nazis!” at the American Right as if it’s the same thing as the European socialist right, the American Left distracts the public from the totalitarian goals it is pursuing, which are in fact very Nazi-like. (And also more than a little bit communist, but nobody would believe the capitalist American right supports communism, so fascism it is.)

      • “the American Left distracts the public from the totalitarian goals it is pursuing, which are in fact very Nazi-like”

        close. really close.

        “the left” doesn’t hate naaziism – they love it for themselves. they simply don’t want anyone organizing similarly against their own naaziism and repeating what germany did to them. all functional nations are nationalistic – that’s why “the left” works to break them down. it’s tribal warfare, that’s all.

        “The Nazis are the world’s most well-known murderous totalitarians”

        the kgb did much much better – and that against its own (putative) citizens, not against its enemies. but this gets downplayed by “the left” because they don’t want anyone looking too closely at the anti-national anti-russian forces that ran soviet communism.

        • Mao made both the Nazis and Bolsheviks look like wannabe try-hards in the mass murder stakes.

        • “the kgb did much much better – and that against its own (putative) citizens, not against its enemies. but this gets downplayed by “the left” because they don’t want anyone looking too closely at the anti-national anti-russian forces that ran soviet communism.”

          The main reason the public does not know the magnitude of communist murder is that while “we” captured the nazi records and video, we have no access to Russian records. But, from what is publicly available, and due to the destruction of the nazis by the Russian army in WW2, we know Stalin’s killing machine, from the beginning, was much more effective than was the nazi counterpart.

  3. The sad thing is they think that “fighting the good fight” is encroaching on your rights while at the same time empowering those of criminals. We live in the upside-down.

    • “they think that ‘fighting the good fight’ is encroaching on your rights”

      for them, they have rights and you don’t. so yeah they’re perfectly fine with encroaching on your rights, because they see it as restoring the world to what it should be.

  4. Jump through hoops to get a FEDERAL LICENSE just to have a town ban you because you went through all the check to get a license…… yea…. makes sense.

  5. What comes up for me here is an idea based – VERY loosely – on Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network or US Law Shield (in NJ).

    ACLDN offers its members the possibility – probability – of SOME level of support in the event they are involved in an incident involving the use of lethal force.

    I’m a member for two reasons. First, there is a remote possibility that I – personally – might one day be involved in such a case. Second, I recognize that by participating in such a membership organization, I am helping to make it harder for prosecutors to maliciously pursue legitimate exercise of the right of self-defense. My motivations are a rich mix of the two; sometimes more the second than the first.

    US Law Shield is a competing organization. I also am a member of US Law Shield; seemingly redundant coverage. It’s NJ affiliated attorney will defend me (a PA member with national coverage including NJ) in the event I’m accused of a POSSESSION charge. Since nearly no one can get a NJ permit there would be almost no demand from NJ residents for any carry insurance. However, a NJ resident – and anyone who regularly travels through NJ – WILL have a reasonable cause to buy “possession” insurance.

    Can we PotG start to think outside-the-box of “insurance” or “mutual aid societies” along novel lines of coverage?

    Might FFLs form such an affinity group to “insure” or “aid” members fight such cases as this Newton MA gun-shop owner?

    Might gun-carriers form such an affinity group to “insure” or “aid” members defend themselves from unlawful “possession” or GFZ-violations? If Evan Nappen can calculate the actuarial risk of underwriting such “insurance” in NJ then it’s conceivable that 49 lawyers in other states could perform the same calculation.

    Isn’t this a fairly simple matter of us thinking of whatever our interests might be which are amenable to legal “warfare”; i.e., “lawfare”?

    FFLs certainly ought to be able to identify themselves as being members of an affinity group vulnerable to “zoning law” changes. Manufacturers, gunsmiths, pawnshops, stores, C&R licensees. Perhaps manufacturers are most vulnerable to legislatures prohibiting manufacture of “assault weapons” in their jurisdictions. Holding a C&R license in NJ is guaranteed to get you into trouble. If FFL holders recognized that an attack on one is an attack on all, they might see fit to pool their resources. If the “underwriting” organization builds a formidable war-chest, any given state or municipality would have to weigh whether it’s willing to undertake a campaign with uncertain outcome. Similarly, a gun shop needs to consider the risk of defending its license if the ATF decides to try to revoke the shop’s FFL.

    Suppose gun carriers begin to recognize a common threat from GFZ prosecutions; or, new possession legislation. E.g., possessing a “shoulder thing that goes up”. The risk isn’t so much defending against the embarrassment of being thrown out of Starbucks in one state or loss of 2A-rights for entering a bar in the wrong state; it’s that GFZs will proliferate. We have a collective interest in making it as expensive process for gun-controllers to litigate GFZ-violations.

    Ultimately, the question is: Are we the PotG willing to pool our resources in such a manner as described above to undertake “lawfare” in defense of our collective – as well as personal – rights? If so, we might find ways to build on the two models illustrated above.

    • “willing to pool our resources”

      well … that’s not what you would be doing. rather you’d be making yourself financially liable for the least stable member of your group. that’s hard enough to do in, say, a medical insurance company, which is regulated and supported and where risk factors are screened and controlled. for an unregulated and unsupported – and in fact targeted – “lawful use of force” pool, it would be highly problematic.

    • “US Law Shield is a competing organization. I also am a member of US Law Shield; seemingly redundant coverage.”

      So if redundant, which coverage is in force in the event of a claim? Or is the coverage sufficiently different that there would be no conflict? Or did they write the policies to be complementary? It seems to me that any duplicate coverage would introduce an opportunity for dispute between the two. “Whenever elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.” Hate to see you become like the grass, while dealing with the aftermath of a DGU…

  6. If I understood the article, there is a “pot shop” in the downtown area. If I’ve misunderstood/misread, feel free to correct me.

  7. Interesting all the focus on 2A violations. Would not a complete ban on commerce of a legal product be a “commerce clause” issue? Given the SC history of the last 60yrs, “commerce clause” seems more likely to prevail than “2A infringement”.

  8. ot, from zerohedge regarding the chaos in south africa:

    “A VERY VERY important fact from SA, is that the communist goverment have been disarming the public -whites- for the last 4 years. Making it almost impossible to get handgun licence or ammunition. Previous licences had to be renewed, and that us just where they DRAGGED their feet in renewing those. Renewals of 2 years is nothing uncommen. Should you not get renewal within 6 mnths, WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE, then you had an illegal firearm and had to give it in fir “safekeeping”. THOSE arms have then turned up at vilent crimesceens, more than hundreds of times. What we then did is, have it storred at a gundealer that FULLY understand the incompetance of police. Many gave filled the pin off, and or damaged the barrel, for which they were then criminally charged by police.

    WHY ???

    SOME still have handguns, or hunting rifles, but as a whole the law-abiding people are almost gunless. Let this be a lesson to all, seeing that in america you also have such gun problems now. The criminals have 99.99% of the guns.”

  9. It’s their town they can do as they wish with it. Dont want a liquor store, the city doesn’t give the license. Dont want a strip club, no license. I see no difference with a gunm store.
    Where I’d draw the line is when you go to X city to get a bottle of booze or a gunm and cant bring back either because you live in Y city.

    • Local governments cannot simply run roughshod over enumerated rights in any state. Also in Florida at least, all local governments exist at the pleasure and convenience of the state. The Laws of Florida grant authorities, not rights, to local governments. The state legislature can rescind those authorities for cause on any local government in the state. Many other states have a similar, state-supremacy structure. Connecticut may as well.

  10. I think this is rather ironic as the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), likely one of the largest firearm trade organizations, and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) are just down the street from each other in Newtown.

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