KINGSPORT — A new gun store located on West Stone Drive — and right across the street from Andrew Jackson Elementary School — will have to wait a little while longer before legally being able to sell firearms in the Model City.
Freedom Firearms is located in a building owned by Kingsport businessman Paul Bellamy at 771 West Stone Drive. Last month, Bellamy requested the property be rezoned from its current B-1 designation to B-3. According to city planners, firearms sales cannot take place in a B-1 zone, but can in a B-3 zone.
The store’s sign went up in July and the business owners learned of the zoning conflict after applying for a business license, Vice Mayor Mike McIntire told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday.
Planning Director Lynn Tully said planning staff recommended the zoning change given the store fronts Stone Drive, a heavily traveled commercial corridor. Last month, the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission unanimously recommended the change as well.
During a BMA work session Monday afternoon, the item was briefly discussed by elected officials.
However, the BMA gave some hesitation to the change during its regular meeting Tuesday, following voiced opposition to the rezoning from former Kingsport Board of Education member Pat Turner.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.