Woodbridge Gun Shop Meets Opposition

Proximity to Amity Teen Center causes some concern.

When Jane Opper heard that a gun shop could be coming to a Woodbridge shopping plaza, something just didn't sit right with her.

"It just seems innappropriate. The teen center is just 100 yards away from it," she says. "It seems like a completely wrong place for a gun shop."

The Woodbridge Plan and Zoning Commission will be considering an application from Mike Majewski, who wants to open the Woodbridge Firearm Trading Post, LLC at 28 Selden St. in April.

"I believe that people should be allowed to have a registered gun, but I don't like the idea of the shop right close by to the teen center," Opper, an Orange resident with ties to the Amity Teen Center said. She said teens are planning to share their concerns with the Woodbridge Plan and Zoning Commission next Monday. The commission will discuss the application for a change of use at its montly meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Town Zoning Enforcement Officer Terry Gilbertson said his department takes the first shot at these applications. "My instinct was that this is a change of use, and it's something that the public has to hear and speak about."

"The commission has to make a finding that's in the best interest of the public welfare," Gilbertson said. "There are some communities that have stronger feelings about these things than others."

Gilbertson expects a lively exchange at Monday's meeting.

Nobody March 27, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Can you cite your statistics? And is it in neighborhoods where there is a legal, lawful firearms business or where they are sold illegally? Let's keep in mind that the people that would be doing business in this establishment are licensed by the Connecticut State Police after a thorough background check to purchase and carry a weapon. Moreso, the business owner faces great scrutiny and would likely not chance losing their license to conduct business by not following rules regarding sales and security measures that are required. I certainly look forward to your documentation that supports your argument.
E.B. WALSH March 27, 2012 at 08:50 PM
There is a tobacco shop 150 yards east of the teen center in the Amity Plaza, which promotes rolling papers on its outdoor sign. There is likely more inside. I'm a heck of a lot more concerned for what the kids I see walking from the Plaza to the teen center area are doing then the idea they might want to visit the gun shop- which unless they are 18 they can't do.
Gmoney March 28, 2012 at 12:40 AM
One whiny rich liberal flaps her gums & suddenly someone else's hard work is crushed to satisfy her ( & a few others' ) nervous reservations.
Gmoney March 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I guess the Founding Fathers vision for this Country & how to maintain freedom & security (2nd Amend.) has been replaced by more "progressive" ( weak ) views.
Diane March 28, 2012 at 02:12 PM
You may not agree with Ms Opper has to say but snide comments are not necessary. She is only thinking about the "teens".
Nobody March 28, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Diane, if my comments above come across as 'snide', I apologize; that certainly wasn't the intent. I have no affliation with the proposed business and/or the gentlemen attempting to open it. I hope that before Monday's meeting, anyone who decides to get up and speak for or against the proposal does their homework to back up any "statistics" they may bring up.
Kristopher March 28, 2012 at 06:16 PM
The best way to deal with teens and guns is for said shop to sponsor a teen shooting team. I'm sure there is a DCM match in the area that would welcome a youth team, and I'm sure that such a shop would welcome the said team wearing their advertizing and shooting their DCM-compliant AR-15s in competition.
Mike Butler March 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM
What exactly do you suppose she thinks will "happen" to these teens with this shop in place? That they will grow up accepting the Second Amendment rights of citizens, and thinking that lawful ownership of firearms by law-abiding adults (maybe even their parents) is perfectly normal? I'm sure that goes right across her grain!
Mike Butler March 28, 2012 at 11:58 PM
That's the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. Your "name" exactly matches what kind of "statistics" like that exist—"none." In fact, some of the cities with the highest crime rates don't even HAVE any gun stores! What exact "trouble" do you expect us to believe will "follow" in this neighborhood where a federally licensed dealer sells only to state licensed individuals and must also conduct an instant criminal background check in order to be allowed to make the sale, and where minors are barred? Exactly what are these "potentially dangerous situations"? I am not holding my breath waiting for you to provide substantiation for your outlandish claims—I already know you have "none."
Donald Mei March 29, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Psst. We don't have "registered guns" in CT. Unless you are talking about a machine gun.
Don Sherman March 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM
"Statistcs show that trouble follows in neighborhoods where guns are sold." Cite your source. Framing the argument in your terms, "I believe you are wrong." "We want to keep our kids safe, [...]" Teach your children to be responsible and most important, teach them how to safely handle firearms. The tools are freely available to anyone interested. "[...] why would we deliberately put them closer to potentially dangerous situations?" Can you demonstrate that "gun shops" are inherently more dangerous than any other retail outlet? Nobody: "[...] are licensed by the Connecticut State Police after a thorough background check to purchase and carry a weapon." No, you are wrong. Like pawnbrokers, firearms dealers, the licensee, analogous to the permittee of a package store, is licensed by the Federal government. The process is costly, demanding, and subjects the applicant to rigorous scrutiny. No one with "spots" on their record will pass the examination. The FBI, the CDC, the DPS, the NRA, and the NSSF are all research sources for information on the subject. When we look past the media's biased reporting, we realize the facts concerning firearms owners and ownership don't match what is reported. Remember, there is a basic, but HUGE, difference between legally possessing a firearm and ILlegally possessing a firearm.
Don Sherman March 29, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I didn't comment on the "registered" thing because the discussion gets lengthy, but conceptually you are correct. "Registered", like "reasonable", is one of the weasel-words (gun) control people like to use to usurp our rights.
Jessie Brown March 29, 2012 at 01:32 PM
maybe the concern is because of the demographic of who hangs out at the Teen Center....I am not a gun supporter but legal selling of guns by a reputable owner doesn't seem to me to be a threat to teens however, unruly teens hanging out by a gun shop...now that is a different story.
Nobody March 29, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Don Sherman states: "Nobody: "[...] are licensed by the Connecticut State Police after a thorough background check to purchase and carry a weapon." No, you are wrong. Like pawnbrokers, firearms dealers, the licensee, analogous to the permittee of a package store, is licensed by the Federal government. The process is costly, demanding, and subjects the applicant to rigorous scrutiny. No one with "spots" on their record will pass the examination." Don, while I agree with your opinion, I think you read my statement incorrectly. What I meant was the persons patronizing the establishment are required to be licensed by the State of Connecticut to purchase a firearm; I did not mean the business owner. I'm well aware of the licensing procedure for a business such as this. Having said that, I think your post is otherwise spot on!
James Pederson March 29, 2012 at 02:09 PM
The problem with all these establishments - Teen Center, bowling alley, bar, brewery, tattoo parlor and gun shop - is that they attract problems and problem people like magnets. Individually and together, they have the potential to create a dangerous environment. It is up to the Town and its citizens to make sure this area does not erupt.
E.B. WALSH March 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM
James- Would you add autobody shops to your list? Banks [they attract robbers], restaurants or coffee shops- they attract an element too- no? Other than the new shop all those other business have been around for years. No "eruptions" I'm aware of. People who go to gun shops are police officers, hunters and responsible firearm owners. Had this non- issues never come up- you likely never noticed the gun shop existed. There are other zoning issues that need addressing more than this. A few years ago I met many folks at the Ansonia Gun club range while my sons were getting scout merit badges. I'd trade those "gun people" for 99% of CT residents any day and would bet my home and life on them.
Diane March 29, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Oh now the teens are "unruly". Where are your facts?
Don Sherman March 29, 2012 at 03:47 PM
In fact, you probably do and aren't aware of it. Statistics, available from the sources cited above, indicate fewer crimes in areas where firearms are not regulated out of the hands of people otherwise able to legally possess them. Most Connecticut firearms owners who choose to carry do so concealed; the "bad guys" don't know who is armed.
Debbie March 29, 2012 at 05:56 PM
So true!!!
Debbie March 29, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I agree. I seriously doubt there is going to be anyone shooting guns off or hunting teenagers down the street.
Debbie March 29, 2012 at 06:01 PM
That seems a little judgemental. Teen center is for teens - my daughter goes every now and then to see a friends band play - they are wonderful kids! Bowling alley - really? at least a league keeps people out of trouble and is great for socializing. Bar - i've witnessed Amity parents with their kids in their when all manner of bar "talk" is going on - idiots - go to friendlies. I have a tatoo - a peace sign and I would love to own a gun - its my right. People who are against things out of fear will always come up with a way to say all the other people are crazy.
Mike Butler March 31, 2012 at 02:58 AM
"The problem with...gun shop is that they attract problems and problem people like magnets." You cannot possibly be serious!!! In order to be able to make purchases in a gun shop, a customer must have proven himself/herself to be squeaky clean enough to be issued a permit from the Connecticut Department of Public Safety (and be approved in a contemporaneous instant background check at point of sale), and "problem people" need not apply. Convicted felons are barred from touching this merchandise at all, and have no business being there. And that's to say nothing of the rigorous background checks that a gun dealer must pass in order to obtain a FFL from BATFE...a colonoscopy is less invasive! And needless to say, a FFL holder or his employee is not about to commit the federal crime of selling to debarred persons. People who go to gun shops are the crème de la crème of law-abiding citizens, and should be accorded the utmost of respect. The notion of a legal business of this nature causing any "eruptions" or even a "dangerous environment" is 100% ludicrous, and your time would be more productively spent going to Salem, MA and looking for witches.
R.U.Sure March 31, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Odd, it is ok to have a bar right next door to the teen center but not a gun shop, which requires verified proof of an person when they atempt to purcahse a handgun. Oh yeah, and lets not forget that three day waiting period =before you can walk out the door with the gun you purchased. Did I forget to mention the liquor store within walking distance of the Teen Center which has youths working behind the counter?
WoodbridgeWatch March 31, 2012 at 08:53 PM
The article says the prospective shop keepers have to undergo questioning at the Planning & Zoning meeting Monday night. I may need to attend just to learn how a retail store going into a retail plaza is change of use.
Nobody March 31, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Couldn't agree more. I'll see you there. I have to witness this for myself. I can understand concern, but I'd like to hear on what grounds this would be a change of use. As a Woodbridge resident, I'd hate to see our tax dollars bring used on what would likely result in a lawsuit from the new prospective business owners if they are arbitrarily denied.
Mike Butler March 31, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Actually, with my permit, I can walk out the door the same day with the Instant Background Check system. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics http://www.ct-permit.com/ctsale.php
Jaime Gerber April 01, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Mike Butler April 02, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Or perhaps gun crime continues to decrease BECAUSE OF increase in gun ownership, Jaime. More and more, the right people are buying them, making guns the tool of crime prevention and deterrence rather than perpetration.
Alexander B. C. April 20, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Helicopter parents are the problem.
Alexander B. C. April 20, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I don't like the New CT.


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