FARGO — The Fargo Neighborhood Coalition has scheduled a public Zoom meeting for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, to talk about a proposal that could change city rules regarding the sale of guns out of homes.
The Fargo Neighborhood Coalition is on record as urging the City Commission to deny a request for a change to Fargo's land development code that would allow firearms and ammunition dealers to operate as an accessory occupation from their homes.
The Downtown Neighborhood Association board of directors has voted to oppose making the change as well and it has invited association members to participate in the Coalition's Zoom meeting, which can be viewed starting 4 p.m. Wednesday at https://bit.ly/3d241ys.
On May 5, the Fargo Planning Commission voted 5-3 to keep a 19-year-old city rule in place banning the sale of firearms from homes.
The matter now goes back to the City Commission, which voted 3-2 in January to have the issue examined.
It is unclear when the City Commission will again take up the potential change.
A city spokesman said Friday, May 22, that the City Attorney's Office was still compiling its legal review of the matter and that it was likely the firearms discussion will be discussed at the June 15 City Commission meeting.
During the May 5 Planning Commission hearing, two men who hold federal firearms licenses and another seeking to obtain one spoke in favor of the change.
Several commissioners voiced opposition to changing the rule, citing concerns about the effects on neighborhoods.
Edward Krystosek, a licensed firearms dealer and candidate for the City Commission in the June election, said the home-based business envisioned by the change is more like a service to residents who want to purchase a gun on the internet or for handgun license transfers from one state to another.
Any gun purchased on the internet can only be delivered to a dealer licensed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The dealer then does a background check on the buyer and finishes other paperwork before the gun can be handed over to the buyer.
Police Chief David Todd has said he hasn't had any complaints about the seven licensed dealers in the city and that they undergo extensive background checks.
Krystosek currently operates in a commercial building, but during his six years as a licensed dealer he said his neighbors have been supportive of his work and that any such business would involve few customers on a daily basis.
Dawn Morgan, a member of the Planning Commission, said the change seemed like a "bad idea" for the preservation of neighborhoods and asked why a licensed dealer couldn't just move to an industrial area.
"Most of us know guns are associated with violence and accidents, and I think it would be detrimental to a neighborhood," she said.
If you go:
What: Public Zoom meeting to discuss proposed change to Fargo's land development code that would allow firearm sales out of homes.
When: 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.
Where: Online via the Zoom platform at https://bit.ly/3d241ys.