Wellesley public hearing on gun shops set for Dec. 6

The Wellesley Planning Board on Monday, Dec. 6 will hold a public meeting online and via local cable access on a proposed amendment to the zoning bylaw regarding  gun shops.

More formally,  the proposed amendment “is to add a new section 16.I that no new building or structure shall be constructed or used, in whole or in part, and no building or structure, or part thereof, shall be altered, enlarged, reconstructed or used, and no land shall be used, in any part of the Town: “For the manufacture, sale, or lease of any Weapon, Machine Gun, Ammunition, Bump Stock, Large Capacity Feeding Device, Stun Gun, or Trigger Crank, or by any person engaged in the business of a Gunsmith in any zoning district. Each capitalized term shall have the definition set forth in G.L.c.140, § 121.”

Residents seeking to have their say should email Planning Director Don McCauley.

For a bit more background on this, see the Nov. 22 Planning Board meeting recording on Wellesley Media at the 2-hour, 46-minute mark. The Board briefly discussed a potential zoning amendment for Annual Town Meeting around commercial gun shops.

“There are two ways of effectively controlling how our land is used in our commercial districts for gun shops, ” explained Board Chair Catherine Johnson. “We can ban the use, which is the way that the teaser for the warrant article says, or we can restrict it to a certain zone….There are no towns in Massachusetts that outright ban it.”

She said the prudent way to approach this, and lessen the chances of any appearance of infringing upon second amendment rights, would be to restrict where gun shops could go. In Wellesley, that would be only in adult-use zones, of which Johnson said she believed the only one left is in the Mica Lane area of Lower Falls. It would be restricted in the way marijuana dispensaries are restricted in town, she said.