Proposed ban on gun stores in Massachusetts city causes division
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Proposed ban on gun stores in Massachusetts city causes division

A proposal to stop gun stores from setting up shop in the city of Newton is causing division among residents.The proposed site of a gun store on Washington Street in the city’s Newtonville neighborhood is what ignited the local firestorm. On June 2, the Newton City Council voted to approve amendments made by the Zoning & Planning Committee to the city’s zoning ordinance in order to block the gun store from going into that location.“This was not willy-nilly. This was really thoughtfully done. We spent a lot of time on it,” said Newton City Council President Susan Albright.Many residents who are opposed to having any gun stores in the city, however, are worried that there are loopholes in the ordinance. Those residents then pushed for a citywide ban on all gun stores during Monday night’s City Council meeting.“I think that you have a reasonably good case that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to sell arms,” said Newton resident Peter Harrington.Some gun violence prevention activists, however, warned that an all-out ban could legally backfire on the city.“While a ban might have emotional appeal, it’s a bad idea,” said Janet Goldenberg, who is on the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence’s Board of Directors. “It creates the potential for the Supreme Court to overturn not just this ban, but restrictive zoning on gun shops.”Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller agreed with Goldenberg’s sentiment, sharing the following statement with NewsCenter 5:”In light of the implications of the Second Amendment and the current legal landscape, the opinion of our city’s law department — after extensive analysis with our state and federal partners and input from advocacy groups, including the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Everytown for Gun Safety — is that a complete ban would likely be held unconstitutional by a court of law.”The Newton City Council voted 6-0, with one abstention, against an all-out on gun stores in the city Monday night, deciding that zoning laws are a smarter way to manage the issue.The owner of the gun store that was proposed to go up on Washington Street has not responded to NewsCenter 5’s request for comment.

A proposal to stop gun stores from setting up shop in the city of Newton is causing division among residents.

The proposed site of a gun store on Washington Street in the city’s Newtonville neighborhood is what ignited the local firestorm. On June 2, the Newton City Council voted to approve amendments made by the Zoning & Planning Committee to the city’s zoning ordinance in order to block the gun store from going into that location.

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“This was not willy-nilly. This was really thoughtfully done. We spent a lot of time on it,” said Newton City Council President Susan Albright.

Many residents who are opposed to having any gun stores in the city, however, are worried that there are loopholes in the ordinance. Those residents then pushed for a citywide ban on all gun stores during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“I think that you have a reasonably good case that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to sell arms,” said Newton resident Peter Harrington.

Some gun violence prevention activists, however, warned that an all-out ban could legally backfire on the city.

“While a ban might have emotional appeal, it’s a bad idea,” said Janet Goldenberg, who is on the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence’s Board of Directors. “It creates the potential for the Supreme Court to overturn not just this ban, but restrictive zoning on gun shops.”

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller agreed with Goldenberg’s sentiment, sharing the following statement with NewsCenter 5:

“In light of the implications of the Second Amendment and the current legal landscape, the opinion of our city’s law department — after extensive analysis with our state and federal partners and input from advocacy groups, including the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Everytown for Gun Safety — is that a complete ban would likely be held unconstitutional by a court of law.”

The Newton City Council voted 6-0, with one abstention, against an all-out on gun stores in the city Monday night, deciding that zoning laws are a smarter way to manage the issue.

The owner of the gun store that was proposed to go up on Washington Street has not responded to NewsCenter 5’s request for comment.

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