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Author Topic: LT - Town Says Local Gun Shop Violates Zoning Exemption  (Read 1237 times)
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« on: December 02, 2010, 10:04:31 PM »

From the Londonderry Times

Town Says Local Gun Shop Violates Zoning Exemption
Chris Caesar
Londonderry Times

An attempted gun heist at Lee's Gun Shop left one woman arrested and launched a search for a discarded handgun along Interstate 93 last week.

But the theft, reported in the Nov. 18 edition of the Londonderry Times, could also be the end of the gun shop, after the incident revealed to town officials that owner Bob Lee had been violating a special zoning exemption offered to his residential-based gunsmith business. Lee sold a variety of weapons and accessories out of his home.

The town, which allowed Lee to repair guns and sell related parts, specifically prohibited Lee from acting as a gun retailer, senior building inspector Robert Canuel said.

"The zoning board was very specific in the conditions in granting that special exemption," he said. "He's not supposed to be selling weapons, that's not part of his approval."

Canuel said reports that a gun had been stolen after Hooksett resident Ruby Weldon, 24, allegedly ran off with a Ruger revolver and a box of bullets after failing her background check, were sufficient evidence to order Lee to cease operations. The shop is at 27 Isabella Drive, a residential street off Pillsbury Road, about a mile from Moose Hill School.

Lee said last week he would "probably go to war with the town" over the issue. He has 30 days to appeal the decision to the zoning board. "I've lived here for 35 years," he said.

The store's website,, lists a variety of rifles, shotguns and other federally-regulated items like automatic weapons, machine guns and silencers for sale. It makes no mention of any gun repair services offered by the shop.

"Lee's Gun Shop can provide you with a variety of your needs, including (National Firearms Act regulated) items such as suppressors/silencers, machine guns, short barrel rifles and shotguns, and any other weapon," the site reads.

"We keep a good stock of rifles in the showroom," it said on another page.

A neighbor of the gun shop, who asked not to be identified in print,  said he called the town out of concern for the nearby schools and neighborhood children.

"This is serious," he said. "This isn't like somebody running a business and having too many trucks. This is a guy running a business with guns, and someone stole it right from his house."

He expressed sympathy for a neighbor who was losing his store in the middle of a recession, but added the safety factor was too great too ignore.

"(Weldon) was running through the neighborhood with a gun - what if she started a fight, or something happened?" he said. "She wasn't supposed to have a gun in the first place."

Glenn Douglas
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