New Arlington gun shop draws mixed reactions from neighbors

WASHINGTON — It hasn’t even opened, but some neighbors are already up in arms over a new gun store in Arlington, Virginia.

NOVA Armory is set to open its doors in the coming weeks in the Lyon Park neighborhood. It will be one of the largest sporting arms dealers inside the Beltway, according to its website.

Shortly after plans for the shop became public, an online petition was started, urging the building’s landlord to pull the plug on the business.

“It’s scary, I think the connotation is it brings a different set of people with different values, that are purchasing guns,” said Audrey Barritt, who lives nearby.

NOVA Armory is set to open in March. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
NOVA Armory is set to open in March. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

“If you’re gonna put a store like that out west in Loudoun County or down south by Fredericksburg then by all means do so, but not here in Arlington, Virginia,” said Phil Turner, of Arlington.

WTOP reached out to the store, using a phone number on its website, but was notified via text message that store representatives will not be doing interviews until the store opens in March. The website says the store will promote the enjoyment of shooting sports and promises safety training with every purchase.

While some may not be pleased by the addition of a gun retail location, not everyone in the neighborhood believes the store should be forced out of town.

“I’m not thrilled about it, but I also recognize that they are a viable business interest and I think communities have to accept that you’re not going to necessarily enjoy every business that’s there,” said Tom Banks, of Arlington.

This isn’t the first store inside the Beltway to draw out critics. Just last year people protested outside a store in McLean with a similar name, NOVA Firearms.

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