Did you know there are at least 140 gun shops operating out of private homes in residential neighborhoods in Jersey?

A customer shops for a handgun in a gun store
A customer shops for a handgun in a gun store (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Individuals and organizations running these kinds of businesses must be licensed, and have all state and federal paperwork in place before they can legally operate.

Allison Anderman, an attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, believes this kind of situation poses several potential problems.

“The number one risk is that home burglaries are more common than other locations, because FBI statistics show burglaries of residential properties accounted for almost 74 percent of all burglaries in 2010. So it’s clear a gun dealership operated out of a home is more likely to be burglarized than a gun dealer operating out of a commercial or industrial location, and we know guns that are stolen are more likely to be used in crimes,” Anderman said.

Lars Dalseide, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, doesn’t think this is a valid argument.

“These types of operations don’t provide any additional risk whatsoever,” he said. “It’s a home business just the same as if they were selling cakes or Tupperware or anything else.”

Anderman also points out that gun shops in private residences may have children living nearby, or even right next door.

“Where there are guns there are gun accidents, even the most well-intentioned and responsible gun sellers or buyers can accidentally fire a gun. And children are attracted to guns, and having a gun business that is visible to children might make them more curious and likely to try to go into the store," Anderman said.

She said the bottom line is that guns are for adults and should only be kept in areas where adults go.

“Other types of businesses are zoned, like adult businesses and even dog grooming businesses – it’s not appropriate for gun dealers to be in residential areas,” she said.

According to Dalseide, gun sellers in private homes, just like any federally licensed firearms dealer, are “required to go through the same standards, run their operations the same way and run their customers through the national criminal background check system. Legitimate businesses operating in the Garden state or anywhere in the United States are legitimate businesses, and should be treated as such.”

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