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Sacramento Gun Store: Mixed Reactions

A gun store’s arrival n Midtown has local business owners talking, but the conversation isn’t falling along ideological lines as much as it is on one’s views as to whether the space is a good fit for that type of business.

The store will occupy the vacant Cornerstone space at 2330 J St., which is one block away from the area’s previous gun shop, Old Sacramento Armory.

“I first heard the rumor three weeks ago and started asking around,” said Jim Wagner, co-owner of Peradice, a giftshop located a block away from the gun shop. “How did it go from a rumor that no one knew anything about to being done, just like that? That’s not right. At least the community should have know they were applying for a license. We didn’t have a chance to voice our opinions, and that’s what I don’t like.”

Old Sacramento resident Joe Gamble said he believes the store will help the city.

“I don’t see an issue with it,” Gamble said. “If someone who lives here needs to purchase a weapon, ammunition or take a safety class, they’ll be able to do it right here instead of going outside the city and putting money in the county tax base. They can keep the money here and it will go into the city tax base. It benefits your community when you live local and shop local.”

While Wagner said he is not anti-gun and believes in people’s right to own them, he said that he thinks the location of the store seems out of place among the slew of small clothing shops and restaurants.

“I’m not sure how it will help the flow of what Midtown is,” Wagner said. “We’re trying to create a much more vibrant social scene here. It’s not going to hurt anything, but it’s not going to add to the fabric.”

Wagner said his concern is the lack of community presence the new tenants have shown, something that goes against the vibe he believes Midtown is all about. Before opening Pera Dice, located at 918 24th St., he and his partner visited the surrounding local merchants just to let them know they were moving in.

“Had this been my business, that would have been the first thing I did,” he said.

Gamble said he likes the idea of giving people an opportunity to shop where they live and cited the importance of the store opening in today’s economy and in a building that has been empty for so long.

“They’re within their rights and the city code,” he said. “Once all the dust settles, they’ll be a good neighbor. Ultimately they’re doing business in the central city, and that’s a good thing.”

Richard Hanson, owner of The Book Collector, located at 1008 J St., agreed more with Wagner when it comes to the owners’ lack of interaction with the community thus far.

“I’m not necessarily opposed to a gun store," Hanson said. "What I’m disturbed by is that they’re not talking to any of the neighbors about this, and they’re trying to do it very surreptitiously. Their whole outlook may be, ‘We don’t have to, so we won’t.’ ”

Hanson said he recalls the Old Sacramento Armory, which was located at 2215 J St., and had a large revolver as a storefront mural and a long run in the neighborhood. He said he does not believe another gun store will add to the creative spirit that is very much a part of the area, especially one that has made no effort to be involved in the community.

Troy Agid, owner of Bonehead Tattoos and Piercings, located at 1017 24th St., also said he remembers the previous store as a kind of Sacramento staple.

“They were there forever, and no one gave them a second thought,” Agid said. “There’s always going to be the people who are negative about guns, but I think it’s awesome there will be another shop.”

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