NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Some Newton residents are up in arms over a plan to open a gun store in their city.

709 Washington St. has been getting a lot of attention after word started spreading a gun store is aiming to move in and open up shop. The building sits near a popular ice cream shop, homes and schools.

Now, city leaders are saying there is nothing they could have done to stop the owner’s application.

“Yesterday, when I started getting emails from constituents, so, I was not aware at all. This is not something that the City Council approved,” said Ward 2 Councilor Emily Norton.

Newton city councilors and Mayor Ruthanne Fuller told 7NEWS that they learned about the gun shop a few days ago and because of current zoning laws, the initial application went to the police chief.

“The police had been asked to review his security plan and they in fact had already reviewed it already,” City Council President Susan Albright said.

A Facebook page and petition to stop the gun store have been created and many say this is not the place to be selling firearms

“This is one of the most popular spots in the city for families to go,” said activist Shawn Fitzgibbons.

Mayor Fuller said the business would be “right close to many homes and proximate to schools, so I share the concern many people have.”

According to the police, no decision has been made regarding the application yet.

Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker said, “the application process is ongoing and it hasn’t been finalized yet.”

The mayor and city councilors said they are working to change the zoning laws so firearm sales are restricted to certain parts of the city.

“And it also requires the firearms sales use to be approved by special permit by City Council and there is one more thing, it will also create special permit criteria including a buffer zone between firearms dealer and residences and schools,” Fuller said.

Thousands of people have signed the petition against the shop.

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