By BRYAN GRAY
The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of The Davis County Clipper.
This story is about something that happened last week in Davis County Then again, it’s not really about Davis County or any other county. It is more about “What is the big deal?” and “Why is it in the newspaper at all?”
It all started when a man named Tyler Murri asked permission from Woods Cross City to grant a home-occupation business license to sell a product out of his basement family room. If Tyler were selling popcorn or scrapbook supplies or machine-tooled wooden grizzly bears out of his home, no one would have voiced a peep.
The difference is that Tyler’s product is firearms. His plan, as told to the city planning commission, was to open a few hours in the afternoon, meet one or two customers each day, and store all the weapons, ammunition, and assorted shoot-em-up items in a locked gun safe.
This doesn’t sound like Tyler’s front yard would become a gunfight at the OK Corral, but a handful of neighbors opposed the idea Р and on grounds that I frankly do not understand.
I’m not a gun nut. Fervent Second Amendment supporters often think I’m squishy when it comes to firearms freedom. I am one of the few people in the western states who can say they have never shot a revolver, rifle, or even a pellet gun. The closest I’ve come is shooting marbles on the elementary playground.
But I still cannot understand the opposition to Tyler’s plan. His “inventory” would fit in a Mini-Cooper; he’s not opening a Costco!
The opponents cite traffic concerns. But if Tyler’s business plan is to see only one or two customers per day, his residential street would not be transformed into Legacy Parkway. If the city were concerned about neighborhood traffic, it would have to ban Tupperware parties, baby showers and Cub Scout meetings.
The neighbors also voiced safety concerns, especially when Tyler’s “business hours” coincide with the time when children would be returning home from school. Again, I don’t understand the argument. If the city were concerned about the safety of a pack of children in the street, it wouldn’t allow those ice cream trucks, confectionary Pied Pipers, luring children to dart into the street. As for concerns over theft, I recall last year when a Utah couple was charged with stealing money from a table featuring Girl Scout cookies. Shall we ban residents from storing Thin Mints?
If a guy were target shooting in his backyard, there would be a problem. If your neighbor were battering his wife or knocking down a pint of Jim Beam every night, you might be wary. If a neighbor is blaring Metallica and Mega Death music into the wee hours, you might call a city code enforcement officer (or maybe a real estate agent).
But if Tyler wants to sell a handgun or two out of a locked safe in his basement, I cannot see a problem. In fact, if Tyler is handy in shooting a firearm, his street might be the safest in town.