PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Pilot town board of commissioners voted to table a matter of having a gun shop open in the old Lowe’s Jewelry store on Main Street in an effort to gain more information on the matter before voting.
The board would have to approve an ordinance that would allow gunsmiths and licenced firearms dealers in the general business and central business districts. The central business district includes the businesses on Main Street, while the general business district is anything in city limits that is not on Main Street, other than residential zoning areas.
At first Commissioner Andrew French said he was reluctant to change an ordinance that has been in place for the past 100 years, but as the discussion continued, police Chief Darryl Bottoms pointed out that two different hardware stores in town have sold firearms on Main Street in the past.
“If you’ve got someone who is trying to start a legitimate, lawful business, I just don’t think it’s appropriate to tell someone they can make a living, but not here,” said French.
Commissioner Linda Needham said that people would not be out behind the business target shooting.
“It’s a business and like if I go to the jewelry store and I would have it in a box in a bag and I would take it home. I go to the flea market in Hillsville, Va., and these people have these guns and they are walking around with it,” said Needham.
Mayor Earl Sheppard pointed out that Robby’s on Main Street in Mount Airy sells guns and doesn’t seem to have any problems.
Needham asked Bottoms how he felt about it and the chief said he personally knows the guys who want to open the business and he said he believes knows they will run a good business. John Riggs will the owner and Surry Deputy Sheriff Brent Trivette will also be working at the store.
The motion to table the matter until the next meeting was made by Commissioner Carolyn Boles. Needham made the second. The motion passed unanimously.
At the last meeting, Sonja Tilley came before the board and said was concerned that motorists had been passing the stopped school bus East Main Street when her disabled child gets on and off the bus. Bottoms said he has had officers patrolling on Main Street in that area and they have not written any citations. Tilley was listed on the agenda, but was not at the meeting.
Marshall Atkins, chairman of the ABC board in Pilot Mountain said in the first year of operations in the 2009-10 budget year, the ABC store had an operating loss of $40,000 because of start up costs and the store was only open for six months the first year. In the 2010-2011 budget, he projects sales will be $6,000 less than the projected $650,000. He estimated that sales will go up by $28,000 in next year’s budget.
“I think that is really good,” said French.
Commissioner Boyles said she was going to donate $2,500 toward a bust or statue of former Pilot Mountain Police Chief Sid Patton. The town board was approached at its last meeting by Patton’s son about putting the memorial in front of town hall. An additional $5,000 has to be raised before the statue can be erected.
The board will meet again at 3 p.m. Friday for a budget meeting. The next regular monthly meeting will be on June 27.
Contact Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.