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Gun Store Sues Legislators Over Death Threat, Harassment

Death threats are allegedly just part of the harassment suffered by NOVA Armory, owner Dennis R. Pratte II and his 16 year old daughter. In its lawsuit the company Broadstone Security, which does business as NOVA Armory, names 7 state legislators, an Arlington County Board member, a School Board member and multiple Lyon Park area residents, claiming they conspired to destroy the business. The complaint alleges that in addition a mailed death threat the family-owned business had to deal with attacks via social media, harassing e-mails and phone calls. The lawsuit was filed in Richmond Circuit Court.

A petition opposing the proposed gun store location was circulated after it became known that Pratte had applied for a certificate of ocupancy. Over 3,500 people signed the petiton and letters of protest were sent to the landlord from state legislators on official General Assembly stationary. Virginia law, however, does not allow local governments to prohibit or regulate firearms merchants so long as that business complies with zoning restrictions. NOVA  Armory has only been open a few weeks and is located roughly between I 66 and Highway 50, not too far west of Arlington National Cemetary.

One of the legislators named in the suit, Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) decried the lawsuit as anti-American, calling it a “…very, very dangerous attack on the First Amendment, an absolute attack on people's right to speak out.” He went on to say, “Protests are as American as apple pie, as civil rights protests, as boycotts of grapes. If this lawsuit succeeds, the Montgomery (AL) bus company ought to sue Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement for that boycott because they wanted to shut down that business.”

A number of anti-gun organizations have rallied to the defense of the people in the lawsuit.

Nova Armory - Gun Store Sues Legislators Over Death Threat

Levine has been against the gun store from the beginning, posting his opposition on social media, calling firearms “weapons of mass destruction” and sharing comedienne Amy Schumer's recent video wherein she grossly misrepresents the laws that regulate online firearm sales.

Said Levine,

“NoVA Armory, we don't want you selling your weapons of mass destruction near schools in Arlington! We shouldn't have to wait until people are shot dead with your military-grade semiautomatic weaponry to protest this store. Thousands of your neighbors want you gone.

Last weekend, a Woodbridge man who was arrested for pulling a gun on someone in a parking lot murdered his wife and a police officer and shot two others. How did he get his guns? Are you ready to pay for all thefunerals of all the people that your guns murder? And provide reimbursement for all wrongful deaths you cause? If not, then please, we beg you, leave Arlington.”

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Pratte's attorney, Daniel Hawes, a member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, describes opponents of the store as having a “…morbid, neurotic fascination or obsession with guns…” and says customers have been followed when leaving the store.

You can read more here on The Washingtonian website or here at the Washington Post.

You can find NOVA  Armory on Facebook here and online here — you know, if you want buy something and support 'em (or just go by and visit). Unfortunately for the perennially disaffected and eternally outraged, you'll still have to go through an FFL if you purchase a firearm online — which means despite what Schumer and other idiots would have people believe, felons can't just get a gun off the internet…

You can get this sign on Amazon if you want though.

Cover photo by Bill O'Leary, Washington Post.

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