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Gun Shop Owners Ask for Support

Organizers expect peaceful show of support before fateful meeting

The owners of a proposed Woodbridge gun shop have asked their supporters to join them outside of before the next Plan and Zoning meeting. A Facebook post Wednesday evening on the Woodbridge Firearms Trading Post LLC’s page says, “On Monday May 7th at 6:30PM, we are asking people to come and support us at the Woodbridge Town Hall.”

Retired Hamden Detective Francis Klos and his partner, Michael Majewski want to open the Woodbridge Firearms Trading Post in the Selden St. Plaza, but need permit from the Town Plan and Zoning Commission to change the use from an office space to a retail space.

“Let’s show Woodbridge we believe in the 2nd Amendment and the right for this shop to have the use changed from office to retail in a retail shopping plaza,” the post says. It continues: “Please pass this to all your family and friends. If you cannot attend we strongly request you write a letter to the zoning board voicing your concern. Thank you in advance. how Woodbridge we believe in the 2nd Amendment and the right for this shop to have the use changed from office to retail in a retail shopping plaza. Please pass this to all your family and friends. If you cannot attend we strongly request you write a letter to the zoning board voicing your concern. Thank you in advance.”

Several hours later, a new post appeared: “Just a little reminder for everyone that the event is NOT A PROTEST! We are joining together before the meeting to show the Woodbridge Zoning Officials that we do have the support of people to have the gun shop in the Selden Plaza and that the zoning should be changed to retail. There are currently no restrictions that state a gun shop is not allowed to be in Woodbridge. This is a simple zoning change the town should approve.”

“Overall, we can understand the residents of Woodbridge not wanting this to be a stand-off,” owners of the shop said during a conversation stemming from their original post on Facebook. “However, we have been accused of having no supporters due the fact we didn't feel the need to bring anyone to what was supposed to be a closed meeting that ended up being open when they let all the opposers speak against having the store.”

At Monday evening’s Plan and Zoning Commission, about 20 protesters and two supporters were allowed to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting. The commission has asked for an attorney's opinion on three matters before making a decision on the use change application. The commission next meets on May 7.

Beverly Kaye April 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I'm sure concerned residents will also will be there to show the very same officials that we do not want a gun shop so close to a teen center. Period. I am not against guns. My family has owned guns. I am against inappropriate locations for their sale.
Nobody April 06, 2012 at 02:57 PM
The proximity to the teen center is irrelevant. The teens can NOT purchase anything from the store. The people that can have been cleared through a background check by the Connecticut State Police and found to be of sound judgment, thus alleviating worries of somebody purchasing a weapon and venturing to the teen center to cause harm. I sat through that meeting (while exercising my Second Amendment right, I’ll have you know!) only to watch people get up and speak about concerns they have that could easily be quelled through education. I also saw the worst defense and/or argument by the prospective business owner. I would suggest that he take a look at the video of Monday’s meeting, write down every resident’s concern, and be prepared to address them at the next meeting. I was turned off by the focus of the hearing being redirected to the actions of the teens at the teen center and applaud the Chairman of the Zoning Board for recognizing this and keeping the speakers on topic. While there may be validity to their comments, that was not the proper venue; call Ms. Opper and request to have a meeting. This, however, does not dissuade my support of the store. Lastly, a comment was made regarding the legality of discharging a weapon in the Town of Woodbridge, citing a tragic loss years ago. While this is may be correct, it is NOT unlawful to discharge a firearm when defending oneself. Get educated, not regulated! See you on May 7th!
Nobody April 06, 2012 at 03:04 PM
One last thing; If your argument is that you don’t WANT the store, you have no legal leg to stand on. There’s plenty of businesses that I don’t approve of but just choose not to patronize. I find it very strange that, in most communities the AREA and not specific occupancies are zoned, but in Woodbridge it’s based on what was in the building before you. If their application for a change of use is denied, the Town should be prepared to explain why they denied the application when every other occupancy near them is retail. What makes this specific tenant space unusable as retail? Any lawyer with a phone number on the side of a city bus could argue and win this case at the cost of us taxpayers.
Betsy W. April 06, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I like Italian food. I also like to have a glass of wine or two. In fact I drive my car to the restaurants I go to. (They also provide a parking lot.) Should we close all restaurants because of the potential danger of drinking and driving? Should restaurants be moved to better locations just in case?
BEn Zemke April 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I agree with "Get educated, not regulated".

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