In a blow to our 2nd Amendment rights this week, the town council of Mount Airy, Maryland voted to block a federally licensed gun dealer from operating a small and appointment-only gun business out of his home. The vote was four to zero to deny Michael Wonsala’s request for a zoning change to let him operate a small gun business that is centered around repairing and selling collectible and historic firearms out of his house.
As horrible as that sounds, that’s not even the worst part. The council now intends to update their town’s code in ban firearms sales. This week’s vote ended a 15-month long process for Wonsala. It isn’t as if Wonsala is new to the firearms business. His family has owned a New Jersey gun shop for over 40 years, and he is a federal firearms licensee.
This means that anyone who makes a purchase from him must submit to a FBI background check first. Wonsala has a full-time job, and isn’t worried about the financial hardship as a result of the council’s vote. He is worried about the violation of his constitutional rights. Mount Airy Councilman Scott Strong told WTOP earlier this month:
[People] look at it at face value and think ‘Oh, this one individual wants to do this. It should be fine. I don’t have an issue with what he is proposing. Essentially, somebody could theoretically get their FFL, get a Class 3, and next thing you know, they’re selling machine guns out of their house. And that draws concern from me … it is not this individual saying ‘I want to sell this one type of weapon’—it’s the next person that comes behind him and says he wants to sell AR-15s.
On the other hand, Wonsala explained:
To me, it is a sad day in America that our freedoms are being erased in front of our eyes, little by little. My father has had this business since 1970 and I cannot bring it to Maryland.
I could tell Wonsala to move. But, how many states are there left in America where you are truly free? And, since not everyone has the ability to move on the drop of a dime–isn’t it sometimes better to fight where you are?