U.S. Marine Corps veteran James Gates had grand plans of opening a gun store in Cherrywood, but was met with vehement opposition from local residents and business owners.
Gates wanted to place NOVA Firearms in the small town located in the neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia. However, locals were up in arms before the store even opened and Gates and shopping center owner Konstantinos Kapasouris ultimately decided to cancel the lease.
“He knew right away it wasn’t going to work from the community, but the business owners let him know as well,” said Bill Hamrock, co-owner of a bistro located across the street from the would-be NOVA Firearms.
One of those business owners was Kapasouris, who unabashedly told Gates he didn’t want guns in the town, let alone his shopping center.
“I don’t want to have a gun store,” said Kapasouris. “I thought it wasn’t a good store.”
But Kapasouris said he wasn’t the only one who felt that way, pointing also to Cherrydale’s residents, many of whom petitioned against NOVA Firearms.
“The community, they didn’t like it – the idea to have a gun store,” said Kapasouris. “Even if it’s down the street, they didn’t want to have it there.”
Cherrydale shoppers threatened to take their business elsewhere if the big, scary gun store was to rear its ugly head near their strip mall.
“I had several customers showing me Facebook [posts] that were telling people not to come to the restaurant,” said Hamrock, suggesting that the space be used instead for a bakery or a coffee shop.
The unfortunate scenario leaves Gates short one gun store, and perhaps even worse, reflects the town’s sentiment towards firearms.
Guns may be loud and frightening to those unfamiliar with them, but squashing potential businesses that sell firearms is a good way to create an enormous “gun-free zone.”
Hopefully the bad guys share Cherrydale’s anti-gun sentiments, but I doubt it.
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)