- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Dubuque has declined to take up a proposal that would ban future home-based firearms businesses, saying the issue isn’t really a problem in the city.

The City Council on Monday declined to vote on a motion to move the issue forward. It had been tabled since September, the Telegraph Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1gK2bD0 ). The proposal would have prohibited future conditional use permits for gun sales from residential homes.

Council member Ric Jones said Dubuque’s existing home-based firearms businesses have operated for years without incident.

“I understand the angst of the neighbors, but this doesn’t appear by any evidence available anywhere to be a real problem, so why are we trying to solve it?” he said.

Council member Lynn Sutton said city leaders should focus on tangible issues.

“This is so heavily regulated and monitored. It doesn’t leave chance for anything to happen and it will be taken care of,” she said. “We talk about wanting our neighborhood safe? Let’s go after what’s going wrong.”

Council member Kevin Lynch also said a ban could make Dubuque a target for a lawsuit.

“I could foresee someone trying to challenge it through the legal system, and what that does is set us up for a long, expensive court battle,” he said.

Council member Joyce Connors, who pushed the motion to bring the issue forward, said she wanted to protect residents who may one day live next a home-based gun shops.

“When I ask people, ‘How would you feel if somebody wanted to do it next to your house?’ almost always I hear, ‘I wouldn’t want it next to me,’” she said.

Rick Holman, chairman of the Dubuque County Republican Party, said home-based gun dealers are extensively checked and a ban would only move such sales to less regulated venues.

“By eliminating the ability for these people to run these businesses out of their home, you’re not taking away gun sales in a neighborhood,” he said.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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