GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — You wouldn’t think by seeing a child’s chalk art on the side of a Greenwood Village home that there’s a gun shop in the back. But it’s been there for five years, and its owner says it’s gone practically unnoticed until recently.
“I provide, I think, an important service to the community,” Jason Pratt, owner of Tomcat Tactical Firearms, said Monday.
His clientele, he says, includes high-profile celebrities and figures who prefer a more discreet shopping experience.
“This provides a safe location for them to come learn about firearms, responsible gun ownership and legal purchase of a firearm,” Pratt said.
“It really did surprise me that, you know, folks have taken this and become very irrational about it,” Pratt said.
A petition asking that Greenwood Village shut down the store received more than 200 signatures. One of the signatures belonged to former city council member Gary Kleeman.
“I did not create the petition, but I certainly signed it and I certainly support it,” he said.
A resident of nearly 29 years, Kleeman says he first learned of the store in January and was flabbergasted.
“Gun shops are targets for thieves. Crime is worse all the time. Gun violence is worse all the time,” he said.
City documents obtained by Denver7 show Pratt’s gunshop has never had any problems.
“Even recently, the city of Greenwood Village chief of police came out, inspected me and felt very comfortable with how I was conducting the business,” Pratt said.
Still, city council is now considering prohibiting the commercial sale of guns from homes. The ordinance, as written now, wouldn’t shut Pratt’s business down as it’s not retroactive. But he’s still concerned about what could happen in the future.
“There’s nothing to say that when I go to renew my license that they would deny the renewal and retroactively, effectively, cancel my business,” Pratt said.
It’s unclear how council members will vote. Public comments submitted to the city clerk have been mixed, with some opposing the proposed ordinance and others supporting it.
Kleeman hopes they side with those against businesses like Pratt’s.
“I just don’t think it’s safe to have a gun shop in a neighborhood,” Kleeman said.
The first reading of the proposed ordinance will happen during Monday night’s council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. A city spokesperson says a second and final reading would take place in July.