Public hearing over possible gun shop ban gets heated in Riverhead

A Town of Riverhead public hearing got heated over a proposal that could keep gun shops from opening in a portion of the downtown area.

News 12 Staff

Jun 22, 2022, 2:16 AM

Updated 704 days ago

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A Town of Riverhead public hearing got heated over a proposal that could keep gun shops from opening in a portion of the downtown area.
According to the town's zoning and land development proposal, a reason for the proposed ban is being considered because the plan to revitalize parts of downtown is geared toward making space for families and tourists. They believe firearms businesses could conflict with that.
One councilman says he doesn't think the town should even be debating the zoning.
"I think that overall that we should leave gun regulations up to the federal government, to legislation, I don't think it should be done here on the town level," says Kenneth Rothwell. "I think part of this is an emotional thing that has happened on a nationwide level."
Joseph Oliver, owner of JJ Armory and longtime Riverhead resident, is looking to open a firearms store on Main Street where the ban would be in place.
"This is my town, I want to open my business here, I don't want to look for somewhere else," Oliver says. "It's already hard enough to try and find a location right now."
Councilmembers say they are taking comments, emails and conversations with residents into consideration before they vote.


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