When A Former Marine Tried To Open A Gun Shop, He Got A Response He Never Expected
James Gates, a 28-year-old veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, hoped to open a firearms retailer in his hometown of Arlington, Va. He recalled a period of uncertainty directly after his service ended in 2008 and the chance encounter he had at a Maryland sports bar that led to his desire to open a gun shop.
He said he met a woman who expressed her goal of becoming her own boss and, upon learning of Gates’ experience with firearms, the two agreed to become business partners. When they attempted to set up shop in the left-leaning D.C. suburb, however, they quickly found out how unpopular such a business would be among the community’s staunchly anti-gun bloc.
Gates explained that, despite securing a lease at a prime location, he is concerned that vocal opponents will force his prospective landlord to back out of the deal.
“We already have a lot investing into this new shop,” he said. “We put new floors down, painted the walls, bought display cases. If we backed down we’d lose a ton.”
Despite developing precautions such as moving all firearms to the rear of the store so they cannot even be seen by passersby, the business venture has been roundly criticized by anti-gun activists. Just months before the shop is set to open, a petition aimed at banning such a store at the location has gained some traction in recent days.
“We thought there [would]maybe [be]a little pushback,” he said, “but nothing like this. They really don’t know anything about the shop, what it’s going to be, or federal firearms laws for that matter. They’re really shooting first and then asking questions later.”
Some petition supporters are prepared to form a picket line to show their opposition, leading property owner Kostas Kapasouris to acknowledge that the “community is very upset” and that he does not want to be responsible for that. More
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