Gun-fearing town council blocks federally licensed gun dealer from starting home business

Photo: Private guns. Kelly McCarthy with permission.
Photo: Private guns. Kelly McCarthy with permission.

It’s getting worse and worse for gun owners and sellers in the deep blue state of Maryland. The Mount Airy town council voted this week to block a federally licensed gun dealer from starting up an appointment-only gun business operated out of his own home:

In a vote of four to zero with one abstention, the council rejected Michael Wonsala’s request for a zoning change to allow him to operate a small gun business focused on the repair and sale of collectible and historic firearms out of his house. The council now plans to update the town code to prohibit firearms sales.

The vote ended a process Wonsala began 15 months ago, and the planned update to the town code may put an end to his efforts to start a side business.

“Seems unfair to deny my application then pass an ordinance to prohibit it, don’t you think?” Wonsala told the Washington Free Beacon.

As a federal firearms licensee, any sales Wonsala makes to private citizens would require an FBI background check. But local officials rejected his zoning change request due to their crippling fear that it could result in — gasp! — more gun shops:

“[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,’” Mount Airy Councilman Scott Strong told WTOP earlier this month.

In Strong’s estimation, the zoning change Wonsala sought could lead to even more gun dealers opening businesses.

“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,” he told the news outlet. “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.”

Never mind that AR-15s aren’t machine guns.

Wonsala’s family has owned a gun shop in New Jersey for more than 40 years. But he can’t bring the family business to Maryland because gun-grabbers are too afraid of what might happen.