Man withdraws plan to sell guns from home

By Fran Maye

fmaye@journalregister.com

An East Marlborough man who was planning to sell and repair guns out of his home has withdrawn his application from the township’s zoning hearing board.

Todd Tew was seeking a zoning variance to establish a gun sale and repair business called Tew’s Armory out of his home at 843 Meadowview Drive, which is located in a cul-de-sac. The hearing was set for Jan. 29, and many of Tew’s neighbors were planning to attend to protest his plan.

Jane Laslo, township manager, said Tew early this week withdrew his petition “without prejudice.” Tew could not be reached for comment and did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Laslo said Tew’s application initially was for the repair of guns, but later she understood Tew’s plan to include the sale of guns. Because of that, Laslo said Tew’s plan does not fit the definition of the ordinance, and East Marlborough supervisors agreed with Laslo’s interpretation that retail sales are not permitted in a residential area.

In East Marlborough, homeowners are permitted to set up small businesses, including “doctors, lawyers, dentists, teachers, artists, architects, musicians, counselors, therapists, accountants, tutors, consultants….or similar occupations.” The sale of guns is not mentioned in the ordinance.

Tew planned to challenge Laslo’s interpretation of the township’s zoning ordinance, claiming his business differed little than a person selling crafts out of their home.

But Tew apparently was planning on selling assault rifles, including the Bushmaster series. According to his website, tewsarmory.org, prices range up to $3,000 for assault rifles and handguns such as the Kriss Security Detail Pistol goes for $1,750. Survival gear and military surplus items are also sold on Tew’s web site.

On his web site, Tew describes himself as a former Marine with eight years in artillery as a forward officer.

Some of Tew’s neighbors contacted for this story have reported seeing large, camouflaged, military-type vehicles parked in his driveway.

Laslo said as far as she is concerned, the issue is over.

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