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Residents fight back against city’s first gun store

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    NEWTON, Massachusetts (WBZ) — Washington Street in Newtonville is a bustling, commercial street. Lots of traffic. In the 700 block are a variety of shops, including a massage business and a pot shop.

So when Newton Firearms quietly emerged, few people knew it. There is no big sign. Just a piece of paper taped to the door, saying to call for an appointment. We tried, with no luck.

But then, word got out that Newton had its first gun shop and locals don’t seem too happy about it.

“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,” neighbor Adele Jasperse told WBZ-TV.

“There’s a lot of children in this area and also it’s a residential area directly behind us,” said realtor Cynthia Lanciloti.

“For me, it’s certainly more about safety,” said Alexandra Wolf, who started a Facebook group to stop the store. “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. More guns, you have more gun violence.”

Even most of the city councilors were unaware that a gun shop was opening.

“I see the fear in my kids. My 13-year-old said to me, ‘Don’t let them open a gun shop. Someone is going to buy a gun and come shoot up my school,” said Ward 2 City Councilor Emily Norton.

Norton promises that Newton’s elected leaders will now mount an effort to shut down Newton Firearms.

The Newton City Council is scheduled to take up the issue of the gun shop next week. Whether or not they can do anything retroactively is questionable.

The mayor says she’s already working with the city council to amend zoning ordinances and set a hearing for the public to weigh in next month.

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