Selling guns from home a bad idea
I am absolutely shocked, flabbergasted and just sick to my stomach that the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission has made it easier for my neighbor and yes, possibly your neighbor, to operate a firearms business from a home in a residential zoned area in this county. This type of business is not suited nor is it appropriate for a residential neighborhood.
You better get involved to stop the spread of "special exception use permits for the purpose of Internet firearms sales" before someone submits a perfectly worded application to operate a gun business in your neighborhood.
Obtaining a federal firearms license isn't as difficult as one might be led to believe. And, if you can get the planning department staff approval and make a pitch to the Planning and Zoning Commission, you could be in business shortly. If there are no objections by the public at the required public hearing or if those who oppose don't get their concerns on the agenda, you're right on target to sell firearms from your home.
The county will probably put a few conditions on your business like "by appointment only," "no large inventory" and "only one sale per week." It seems like they really do have a few concerns but not serious enough to kill the deal.
All those ill-thought-out conditions are difficult to enforce anyway. Federal law limits Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to a single, unannounced inspection of a gun dealer in any 12-month period. So, the gun dealer in your neighborhood won't be checked very carefully no matter what he says.
I have no objection to operating a firearms business in a commercial zone. That's where businesses are supposed to be located. This has nothing to do with the right to bear arms and has nothing to do with the right to sell arms. It has to do with the changes to traditional land use and the encroachment into the neighborhood by an unacceptable commercial business.
The fact that the proposed business is a firearms business makes people uncomfortable and anxious about their safety. A firearms business is a high-risk commercial venture and neighbors fear for our children being in proximity to this business. The nature of a firearms business brings unknowns to the neighborhood and this also frightens people.
There are just too many unknowns to justify Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission allowing home occupation for the purpose of the Internet sale of firearms. Any exceptions to zoning laws change the character of a neighborhood. But allowing guns to be sold from a private residence really changes the nature of the neighborhood.
Make sure you react to this alarming development and be heard. Aside from allowing one single person to make a few extra bucks selling firearms that could be done out of a low-cost commercially zoned location, please tell me how this will bring added value to my neighborhood or yours?
Paul Allen, Spring Hill
Wreath thief also took holiday spirit
This is a letter to the Grinch who stole the Christmas wreath from my garage door.
You must have a truck because the 5-foot-round wreath is large and heavy. It is made from wood with hundreds of frills made from newspaper wrappers, hundreds of lights and lots of gold colored decorations.
I hope that whenever you look at it, you will realize what a mean-spirited thing you did in this holy season.
I am sad for humanity.
Emilie Sladek, Masaryktown