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Bigotry Rears Its Ugly Head in the City of Newton, MA Against 2A Community and Possibly Destroys a Small Business

It seems like every spring the anti-civil rights crowd gets creative in the manner in which they attack their fellow citizens who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights. These attacks take place at the local level every year at town meetings, city councils, etc. They are always well coordinated and represent a new tactic each year.

This year these groups seem to have borrowed a page from Governor Charlie Baker’s playbook and are attacking small business owners. We all vividly remember when the federal government released its COVID guidelines for essential businesses; it included the reopening of firearm retailers and shooting ranges as essential to civil rights. Within hours of the State releasing the document, the Baker team amended it to intentionally shut down firearm retailers and ranges. It took federal court action to block that effort and ensure that, even during a pandemic, citizens could enjoy the rights afforded to them in the United States Constitution.

Recently, a small business-person in the City of Newton was preparing to open a firearm retail store. By all accounts, he was working with the local government and police to ensure he was properly following the processes the City requires. Everything was fine until a local group of anti-civil rights folks got involved. Their tactic … new zoning ordinances specifically designed and timed to essentially outlaw firearm retailers in the community.

In a recent story by CBS Boston* local residents were quoted saying:

“This is a densely populated community with young children and families that live around here so we don’t think it’s safe to put a gun shop here.”

 

“Where there are gun stores there are going to be areas around them that have more gun violence, there is data out there that shows about you know what happens in proximity to gun stores.”

One City Councilor even stated the intentions of City Officials to destroy a small business trying to open in their City saying that they: “promise[d] that Newton’s elected leaders will now mount an effort to shut down Newton Firearms.”

“The bigotry oozing from these statements is simply unconscionable”, said Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL. “The blatantly false accusations and narratives being thrown at the 2A community by these people would never stand in that city if they were directed at any other group of lawful citizens. While we respect a city’s authority to produce legitimate zoning ordinances, Newton’s leadership should publicly recognize this effort for what it truly is and put an end to it.”

The potential store owner’s attorney is quoted as addressing the matter: "It is outrageous that politicians are manipulating zoning laws for political gain. I will continue to fight for my client, and other law-abiding citizens who are being subject to this kind of self-serving, unethical political show," said Attorney Jason A. Guida.

The Newton City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee will be holding a virtual public hearing on May 10th at 7PM to discuss the proposed zoning change and likely move it to a vote by the full Council. The text of the proposed ordinance, hearing notice, Zoom link for the meeting, and other materials can be found at this link:

https://www.newtonma.gov/government/city-clerk/city-council/council-standing-committees/zoning-planning-committee

*Newton Residents Fight Back Against City’s First Gun Store, 4/20/2021; https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/04/20/newton-firearms-gun-store-washington-street/?fbclid=IwAR16_AE1lz3ZRIR-0Oyhs491Zd1709EOpO4bQrwJ8i1pH03uQSaxNUykNj8


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