"Nothing we can do about it:" Township has no control over gun store location

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Mar 6, 2018 5:27 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

(Harrisburg) -- Commissioners in one Lancaster County township say their hands are tied over the recent opening of a gun store.

Albert Kling, president of the board of Manheim Township commissioners, says he started getting phone calls and seeing posts on social media about The Gun Gallery after a newspaper article called attention to its new location on Dillerville Road, near Franklin and Marshall College and Lancaster Country Day School.

While the store had already been open for about two months, Kling says he believes the school shooting in Parkland, Florida raised people's concerns about safety.

There have also been a few break-ins at gun stores around the county including one at Kinsey's Outdoors last November. Seventy-two firearms were stolen from the in Mount Joy Township store.

Kling says a crowd came to a recent meeting looking for help.

"Everybody thought that we could make them go away, but we explained to the group we can't," Kling said. "They're here legally, there's nothing we can do about it."

Firearms retailers are licensed by the state and federal governments.

Under state law, Kling says municipalities can't write zoning codes that exclude certain retail stores.

"We couldn't say 'gun stores not allowed.' Can't do that anymore than we could ban motorcycle sales or shoe stores, any other retailer," Kling said.

The company's lease is set to run out in November.

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