Thu December 20, 2012
City rejects aspiring gun dealer's application
Buffalo's Zoning Board of Appeals says Adams Street on the city's East side isn't the right place for a firearms dealership.
Howard Slaughter wants to expand his home-based firearms training operation to the actual sales of guns. He says the idea is to train people to meet county pistol permit requirements and then sell them weapons if they want to buy from their trainer.
When he applied for a federal license to deal in guns, Slaughter was told the zoning was incorrect and he had to apply for a zoning variance. The board told him to call a public meeting to talk about his application after neighbors strongly objected.
Slaughter says the meeting didn't go well.
"There's a lot of fear when it comes to firearms and such a stigma in my community about firearms. I was trying to kind of beat that down a little bit by introducing the education side of it. Education is key. If you learn how that firearms functions, what it's capable of doing, hopefully, you have less anxiety when it comes down to the subject matter of firearms," Slaughter said.
Slaughter says last Friday's elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut makes it less likely he will ever get permission.
"My heart goes out to those families," Slaughter added.