Gun store wins $12K settlement from city over license dispute

North Miami Beach has agreed to pay a local gun store $12,000 and change the Florida city’s licensing codes to settle a long-running dispute.

The six-member city commission in late December agreed to the settlement with Glatze Militum, a tactical store and licensed federal firearms dealer, approving a modification to municipal zoning requirements to not prejudice businesses that sell guns and ammunition when it came to licensing.

In December 2016, Glatze was denied a business application to sell guns at the retail location but was allowed to open as a “sporting goods store,” The Miami New Times reported.

However, when code enforcement officers found the business was selling firearms they revoked the city permit and reported the store to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for operating without a one. This led to a civil suit against the city by the store and Florida Carry, a gun rights organization, arguing state preemption law made it illegal for North Miami Beach to regulate firearms sales.

Though the city admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, chalking it up to a “business decision to curtail the cost of further litigation in light of an uncertain outcome” they did agree to resolve the matter, grant Glatze a permit, and amend city code to prevent future occurrences.

“This is the first [city] we’ve had to sue over a zoning ordinance,” says Eric Friday, an attorney for Florida Carry. “They were trying to treat gun stores, which are selling an item every American has the right to own under the Constitution, as a heavy industrial business or something akin to strip clubs and tattoo parlors.”