There’s on old saying, I think it was Diamond David Lee Roth who said, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness, than beg for permission.”
Well, when it comes to selling firearms this is certainly not the stance dealers and potential dealers take. For one thing, those who wish to sell firearms need to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL), which is granted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives only after certain conditions are satisfied.
While some of those conditions are standard, the applicant must be 21 years or older, the applicant has not violated the Gun Control Act or its regulations, etc. some of the other conditions the applicant must satisfy are directly linked to the town, city, county, state laws in which the business is set to operate.
For instance, the applicant must certify that: the business will not be conducted under the license until the requirements of State and local law applicable to the business have been met, within 30 days after the application is approved the business will comply with the requirements of State and local law applicable to the conduct of the business among others.
In other words, in order to sell firearms, an applicant must jump through a lot of hoops. And for Dick’s Sporting Goods Store in Pittsfield, MI, it’s no different. According an article published on Ann Arbor.com, which cites the Pittsfield township documents, there are 2 “controlled uses” – meaning conditions for establishments where firearms are to be to be sold – that must satisfied:
-No controlled use within a 500-foot radius of a residentially-zoned property, but this can be waived if the applicant submits a validated petition signed by at least 51 percent of persons owning or residing in that area.
-No controlled use allowed within 500 feet of a nursery, primary or secondary school or day care facility.
According to the Ann Arbor article, the Pittsfield Dick’s appears to meet these requirements pending the 51% approval from neighboring businesses and residents.
The question that this raises, and it’s not a huge question like today’s AM article, “Killing in the Name of Self-Defense,” are city, town, county, state ordinances like these fair?
Moreover, there are other questions such as, what is the purpose of these “controlled uses”? Are (we) members of the gun community being too courteous by tolerating such restrictions, i.e. votes by neighboring residents and businesses?
What’s interesting is that the country seems to becoming more and more fractured on the issue of guns and gun control. One could liken it to speciation as caused by geographic isolation.
That is to say, in many places across the U.S., guns are a way of life. People are not afraid of guns. And the thought of inhibiting one’s ability to buy, sell, and/or use guns is ridiculous (sound familiar?).
Then in other places, people are so insulated from firearms (due to laws, restrictions, lack of a vibrant gun culture as a result of those laws) that they can’t comprehend why anyone on earth would want one. They see guns only in terms of the crime and violence.
Are we evolving into two totally different species? Are we becoming more ideologically and socially polarized on the issue of guns? Do these subtle but restrictive town, city, county, and state ordinances push us toward one particular end? And lastly, which species will prevail?