The Georgetown Current reports today that the Zoning Commission adopted the much-hated gun store zoning rules. Instead of the 600 feet from churches, schools, etc. that the ANC and others encouraged, the Zoning Commission adopted only a 300 foot buffer zone. As a result, retailers will be able to open a gun store along large portions of M St. as a matter of right. But don’t worry, you won’t even know they’re there! Find out why after the jump:
As discussed earlier, the Zoning Commission is charting new ground with the gun store regulations. If they had adopted the 600 foot buffer, no one would be able to open a gun store in Georgetown.
Unless the decision is overturned (which Councilmember Evans promised at last month’s ANC meeting), there are large swaths of M St. in Georgetown where a gun store could open as a matter of right (i.e. not needing a variance). According to the Current, the stores would not be able to open on the first floor, nor could they have any signage. Basically they could open but only as a non-descript upper floor office.
As seen above, despite the high cost of real estate in Georgetown’s commercial district, we still have plenty of small nail salons and tarot card readers that reside in just the sort of non-descript second floor space the Zoning Commission thinks is perfect for gun stores. Would anyone really notice if you woke up one Saturday morning and there were one less palm reader in town?
While Georgetowners are probably happy not to see a huge neon sign saying “Randy’s Pistolareum: Glocks Half Off”, garishness was not really the primary concern. Nobody wants some huge cache of hanguns and shotguns sitting on the same block as their favorite tavern. Few people in town were happy with the Heller decision, fewer still believe that the right to bear arms also includes the right to buy said arms from a non-descript office in popular shopping district. To the extent that we are forced by the court to even allow gun dealers at all, it would seem that they’d be more appropriately located in light industrial zones.
What do you think: does it make you more or less uncomfortable with the idea of gun stores in Georgetown if you didn’t have to know they were there?