Guns Blazing Over Gun Shop

Iconic Arms opens in downtown Tenafly

Guns+Blazing+Over+Gun+Shop

Alex Chizzik, Staff Writer

The Second Amendment of the Constitution, which states that everyone has the right to bear arms, has been debatable for a long time in the United States, especially in more recent years as mass shootings have become commonplace. Not surprisingly, when a new gun shop opened in Tenafly last month, town citizens expressed concern.

The gun shop, “Iconic Arms,” is located on County Road, near the center of town. Because of its proximity to schools, particularly Maugham Elementary School, many parents have expressed concern for the safety of their children. Superintendent Shauna DeMarco sent out a letter to the community on October 12th, sharing her knowledge on the subject. “We want to assure you that we are aware of the gun store that recently opened on County Road up the street from Maugham Elementary School,” DeMarco wrote. “We, like you, just learned of the new store and understand the concerns.” She also wrote that Mayor Zinna, the school administration, and the Tenafly Chief of Police are informed and up to date on the status of the store. Despite the shop’s location in relation to the schools, “Mayor Zinna has confirmed that all local zoning, and state and federal safety requirements for this type of store have been met and that the store applied for and received licensing from Bergen County,” DeMarco wrote.

Despite the moral questions community members have raised regarding the shop’s status, the shop has a legal to do business. The owners made sure that they went through all of the specific routines and procedures before opening their store. New Jersey law states that gun stores cannot open within 1,000 feet of a school, park, health care facility, or other sensitive locations. If it is legally acceptable, what can be done to protect the well-being of the town, students, staff, and families?

This isn’t a problem of rights. It’s only a proximity challenge.”

— Tenafly resident David Miller, speaking to CBS News

Many parents have expressed outrage and fear over “Iconic Arms” and its proximity to the public schools, but there are some parents who do not think that it is an issue worth so much discussion or significance. The question of what is best for the school community is raised and debated, especially on social media. Some Tenafly parents reported their views on the subject to CBS2 reporters. One parent commented, “I don’t assume it’s a fantastic thought. I actually assume the children want surroundings of security. This isn’t a problem of rights. It’s only a proximity challenge.” Another parent says that he thinks the business is non-threatening and safe after going to the store himself. He explained, “The owner, he asked me, ‘Do you have your gun license?’ I showed him… ‘if you don’t have a gun license you’re by no means getting inside.’” 

Gun laws are one of the most debated issues in our society today.  Whether it is safe and legal, or dangerous and unlawful, is it ethically and morally accepted in Tenafly’s community for there to be a gun store located just down the road from one of our elementary schools? Whatever you believe, this one certainly hits close to home.