Backlash over City Council gun transaction decision

A Virginia Beach man, allowed to run gun transactions out of his home off Shore Drive, and city council members, can't stop him even if they wanted to.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- People in a Virginia Beach neighborhood are upset after city council approved a permit for a man who wants to transfer guns out of his home.

Al Zinke applied for a conditional use permit so his business could conduct gun transfers. Federal law states if someone buys a gun online, it can’t be shipped to the person’s home. Instead it must be shipped to a licensed firearms dealer – which in this case, would be Zinke.

“There's going to be no retail sales whatsoever out of our office,” said Zinke. “I’m just going to do background checks, by appointment only.”

Neighbors were upset about the proposed permit. They presented a petition with 29 signatures, asking for city council to deny the request.

“The weapons are being stored here and people who generally come to steal weapons, have weapons,” said neighbor Terry Connelly. “So as far as I’m concerned, it shouldn’t be here.”

In the October meeting, Virginia Beach City Attorney Mark Stiles explained that Virginia law says cities can’t govern the purchase, possession, sale, transfer, ownership, storage or carrying of firearms or ammunition. Therefore, city council didn't have a choice but to approve the permit.

“I hate this,” said Councilwoman Barbara Henley right before the vote.

Zinke told 13NewsNow that neighbors misunderstood his business. He clarified he’s not selling guns – he’s simply conducting background checks and giving guns to customers. 

“People were thinking there was going to be a parking lot, people coming in tramping through here, looking at guns” said Zinke. “Not the case. I have no guns here for sale. Period.”

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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