BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Buffalo Zoning Board has disarmed an east side resident's plan to open a gun shop in his home.
Howard Slaughter went into the Buffalo Zoning Board meeting without the support of his neighbors, but the board didn't like his idea either.
"You really are not protected. You need to get a secure location," a board member told him.
Slaughter sought permission to sell guns out of his home on Adams Street, where he already trains people on handgun safety. But dozens of people who live up and down the blocks showed up to say they don't support the idea.
"It was 100 percent against this project at this time," says Ellicott District Councilmember Darius Pridgen.
He had helped residents organize.
"I got not one resident who wanted this in their neighborhood," Pridgen said.
But Slaughter says his intention was to make the neighborhood safer. Some of his gun safety clients told Slaughter they'd feel most comfortable buying their first firearm from him.
"People in my community can come back to me and feel they are making a wise decision in the purchase of a firearm and receiving the respect they should get from a licensee," said Slaughter.
He wouldn't have a gun showroom in his house just special order each firearm he sells, and sign for it when it's delivered.
"My intent was firearm education to the community," Slaughter said.
But that wasn't enough peace of mind for his neighbors.
"I have no problem with people wanting to protect themselves legally. I have a problem with him wanting to teach themselves legally. Go to a community center. Teach it at a community center. Teach it in a business district. Not out of his home," said Pleasant Millsap-Mack, a concerned neighbor.
The zoning board shot down Slaughter's idea, and told him he should work with Pridgen on getting a storefront or safe gun range in a business district.
But the reason Slaughter said he sought to sell guns out of his home is because he doesn't have the money to open up a business right now. Slaughter said he'd consider his options over the next couple days before deciding whether to work toward opening a storefront.
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