Gun Shop Planned for Arlington Won't Open After Locals' Gripes

A gun store had a lease to open in the Cherrydale neighborhood of Arlington -- but the deal is off after an outcry from neighbors.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran James Gates planned to open NOVA Firearms at 2105 N. Pollard St., in a strip mall along Lee Highway. More than 2,600 people signed an online petition starting this spring asking shopping center owner Konstantinos Kapasouris to reconsider the deal.

Kapasouris said Monday that people opposed to the business opening there convinced him to reconsider.

"The community, they didn't like it -- the idea to have a gun store," he said. "Even if it's down the street, they didn't want to have it here."

Patrons of the other businesses in the strip mall, which includes a nail and hair salon, a florist and a restaurant, threatened to go elsewhere if NOVA Firearms opened. Neighbors also said they didn’t want a gun store so close to several schools.

"It was just not necessarily a good fit for the other businesses in this shopping center, which are flowers, yoga, nails," florist Marnie Nicholson said.

In an official statement sent Tuesday, NOVA Firearms said its interest in the location started when the landlord approached the business.

Local

Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Teen in Custody After Deadly Stabbing in Fairfax County: Police

Car Crashes Upside Down Into Hyattsville Home

"When news of our planned location in Arlington became public, there were some local critics; however they enjoyed outsized influence when anti-civil rights campaigns backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg picked up their cause," the statement reads.

"Make no mistake, whether it is billionaire Michael Bloomberg or a few local critics, an attack on a gun dealer like ourselves is an attack on the Second Amendment. Those who wish to ban gun shops also wish to ban private ownership of firearms. When the opponents of gun ownership fail at the ballot box, they resort to social pressure and interference with the private business of others."

The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans urged locals to support NOVA. "We can't remain silent while Arlington liberals push their radical anti-gun agenda," the group wrote in a note to supporters.

Statement from NOVA Firearms:

ARLINGTON, VA — As of July 20, 2015, Nova Firearms has canceled its plans to open an additional location in Arlington, Virginia. We wish to thank our many friends, customers, and supporters who have stood by us during our recent attempt to expand our business. We now plan to explore better opportunities in the area to expand our business so that we can continue to serve our customers, including those in Arlington.

For the record, our interest in Arlington began only when a representative of the Arlington landlord asked us to consider leasing the space in question. We invited the landlord to our current location in nearby McLean, Virginia so we could get acquainted. We’ll never forget his words of encouragement and toleration to us while standing in our gun shop: “I don’t tell the florist what kind of flowers to sell, and I won’t let them tell you how to run your business.” Thus we signed a lease for the explicit purpose of selling firearms. Later the landlord complemented our work to prepare the space for our business.

When news of our planned location in Arlington became public, there were some local critics; however they enjoyed outsized influence when anti-civil rights campaigns backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg picked up their cause.

Make no mistake, whether it is billionaire Michael Bloomberg or a few local critics, an attack on a gun dealer like ourselves is an attack on the Second Amendment. Those who wish to ban gun shops also wish to ban private ownership of firearms. When the opponents of gun ownership fail at the ballot box, they resort to social pressure and interference with the private business of others.

Nova Firearms will continue to grow, and we will continue to serve residents of Arlington and beyond. To our friends across America, take note of our location. We are on the front lines of the Second Amendment, along the banks of the Potomac River across from Washington, DC. Just as free speech is the great bulwark of liberty, so shall Nova Firearms serve as the foxhole of the Second Amendment in the backyard of the nation’s capital.

Contact Us