Plans for gun shop in Arlington draw criticism

Plans for a new gun shop in Arlington are drawing harsh criticism from residents.

The new store, owned by NOVA Armory, will be built at 2300 North Pershing drive, just blocks away from Long Branch Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

Concerned residents launched a petition on to voice their opposition.

"We, the citizens of Arlington County, oppose a gun shop at this location. We are alarmed to hear of these plans just weeks before opening, when there was so much controversy around similar plans to open a gun shop in Cherrydale," the petition states. "In an era of ever-increasing gun violence, it is unconscionable to locate a gun shop anywhere in the vicinity of schools, both private and public, with young children in close proximity. The fear of armed intruders in schools is extremely prevalent in our schools, and placing a shop that sells guns and/or ammunition within immediate distance of schools sends a confusing signal to students and could certainly spark fears of access to them and their families."

Over 1,200 people have signed the petition.

NOVA Armory has not publicly responded to the appeal, but thanked supporters on their website.

"We wish to offer a sincere thank you to all the Arlington community supporters, our amazing landlord, and all the fellow Arlington business owners that have contacted us and wished us future success," they wrote.