Gun Shop Causes Controversy in Carrollton Subdivision

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Neighbors upset a gun store opened without their knowledge. (Published Sunday, Sep 5, 2010)

    A  gun shop that opened in a Carrollton neighborhood is sparking controversy.

    It hasn't been too long since business partners Jake Kendall and Corey Orand came together to open Big Slims Firearms.

    "Sometimes I have some ideas that I think may be good, but I don't have the energy to do them," said Kendall.  "So Corey was, I think, someone that could do that for me."

    The two met at church and and followed all the necessary procedures and guidelines to open Big Slims in Carrollton. So far, business at the gun shop has been steady, but not for the reasons they'd like.

    "We wanted to have a quiet opening to make sure we had all the systems worked out and to make sure that we knew what we were doing," said Kendall.  "Then the controversy around it, which I never expected, has caused us to not know what to expect."

    The controversy came when residents living in the Highlands subdivision, less than a mile from Big Slims, found out about the store's grand opening.

    "My son was bicycling in the neighborhood and he came home and said, mom guess what, there's a gun shop in the neighborhood," said Highlands resident Kay Sellers.  "I had no idea that it was as close as it was."

    Sellers and her neighbor Joe Seaton were furious.

    "With all of the other issues we're having in the neighborhood with violence and thefts and break-ins, with the gun store its even worse," said Seaton.  "So we're actually thinking about putting our house up for sale and moving out of the neighborhood."

    "My biggest concern is that the environment in this area -- I don't think is the greatest place to have that type of store," said Sellers.

    It wasn't quite the reception Kendall and Orand were expecting.  They thought adding another business to the struggling Carrollton strip mall off of Rosemeade parkway and Marsh lane would be a good thing.

    "I felt like we were part of the revitalization of this shopping center," said Kendall.  "And for people to feel like we were part of the problem really shocked me, but so far no one has come and talked to me about what the problem is and I really would like for them to because we try to run a very nice place here."

    Not every Carrollton resident has issue with Big Slims.  Some have even stopped by just to show their support.

    "Its crazy," said Carrollton resident, Paul Sewell.  "Its a legal business, there's nothing wrong with it.  They're law abiding, the people who come in here are law abiding."

    For Kendall, the situation is a spotlight he'd rather avoid.

    "I feel like a little guy being picked on really."

    Now Kendall and Orand just want a shot at co-existing with their new neighbors.

    "I want to try to understand what their concerns are, address them if I can," said Kendall.

    Carrollton's city council will have a meeting on Tuesday and on the agenda will be a discussion about the future of firearms businesses in the city.  Some residents from the Highlands subdivision say they will be at that meeting.