Gun shop opponents present petitionsPhillips: 'What do you want county council to do?'
Opponents of a gun shop in West Rehoboth brought their pleas to Sussex County Council during the Sept. 10 meeting. The shop, open by appointment only, is scheduled to be open for business sometime this month, according to owner Richard Catts.
The building on Hebron Road is situated on commercially zoned land and also houses the family's umbrella rental business.
Mable Granke of Rehoboth Beach presented council with petitions containing 209 signatures against the opening of the Delaware Firearms gun shop.
“Yes, the land is commercial, and yes, it's a permitted use, but do you take into consideration the community?” Granke asked council members. “The community does not need a gun shop. It invites violence.”
“What do you want county council to do?” asked Councilman Vance Phillips, R-Laurel.
“You need to take a look at commercial zoning and the impact it represents to the surrounding community,” she answered. “This is a residential area; some logic and common sense needs to be applied. This is why the conditional-use process is necessary for the public good.”
“You can talk all you want, but you need to take action,” Phillips said.
“I'm starting here today,” Granke said.
In previous interviews, Catts said he has not received any negative feedback.
“We have tried so hard to bring this community back together,” said Eleanor Whaley, vice president of the West Rehoboth Community Land Trust. “We are trying to make this is a better place.”
She talked about the son she lost in 2008 in West Rehoboth; he died after being attacked and beaten with the butt of a gun. “We don't want this to happen to any other mother,” she said.
She said residents are concerned that the gun shop would become a target for thieves.
County attorney J. Everett Moore cut the discussion short noting the matter was not an agenda item.