A gun shop is proposed next to Iowa's governors' mansion
A federally licensed firearms sales business would operate out of a home that's across the street from Terrace Hill, under a Des Moines resident's proposal.
- On Monday, the city's legal department was directed to research and provide the city council with confidential advice about the matter.
What's happening: Elizabeth and Travis Aslin have appealed to ZBOA for a conditional use permit.
- It would allow their home at 2422 Forest Dr. to be used for online firearm sales and on-premise customer pickups.
- A public hearing is scheduled for July 27.
State of play: Legislation signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in recent years limits DSM's ability to regulate gun businesses.
- Local governments are prohibited from regulating the storage of weapons or ammunition under a 2020 law.
- A new law this year prohibits cities from enforcing many restrictions against "no impact, home-based business" — essentially any that don't exceed municipal occupancy limits or generate parking issues.
What they're saying: Mayor Frank Cownie and Councilperson Josh Mandelbaum — the sponsors of Monday's council action — are concerned about the potential proliferation of home gun stores, partly because of changes in the law, they told Axios Tuesday.
- They could be particularly problematic in school zones or next door to prominent public figures, including people like the governor or supreme court justices, Mandelbaum said.
- They've voiced support to ban some high-capacity weapons.
The other side: Travis told Axios the business is a hobby that has resulted in the sale of only two guns in the last five years when he previously lived in Grimes — and where city approval to operate was not required.
- Cops, firefighters or EMTs are his only customers. He's willing to limit his in-person gun delivery to places like sporting stores if necessary to satisfy DSM requirements, he said.
Of note: The governor's office did not respond to a request for comment from Axios Tuesday.
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