By Victor O'Brien
Killeen Daily Herald
SALADO - With no fuss and a little confusion, the Salado Board of Aldermen gave permission Thursday for a sporting goods store to become the village's first gun sales shop.
Jeff Warren, owner of Salado Creek Outfitters, had applied for a Federal Firearms License, but wasn't approved because Salado laws do not mention firearm sales, Warren said during Thursday's Board of Aldermen meeting.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requires that municipalities approve firearms sales at a location before approving a license, Warren said.
Warren asked and the board granted Thursday for the retail district zoning ordinance to be amended to allow firearm sales.
"Initially, I won't be carrying inventory in the store. Down the road as my business grows, I could conceivably handle firearms in the store," Warren said. His initial sales will focus on special-order hunting rifles and shotguns.
In the process of approving Warren's request, officials discovered sporting goods stores are omitted from the retail zoning ordinance.
"We found a loophole in our ordinance where we don't have the specified name that says sporting good stores can be in our retail district," Mayor Pro Tem Carol Walls said.
The board asked for Village Secretary Dianna Zulauf to request that the Planning and Zoning Commission define "sporting good stores" in the zoning ordinance use chart.
If undefined, Warren can't move his store without official approval because laws neither allow nor forbid sporting good stores to operate.
Relocation is a possibility he faces as Interstate 35 expansion may force him to move in coming years.
The only concerned comment about the firearms permit Thursday came from Alderman Susan Terry.
"It concerns me that your gun permit would go with you wherever you would go. On the interstate, I have one feeling about it. In town I have a different feeling," Terry said.
The amendment approved Thursday allows sales in retail districts only. Warren would have to ask the council again if he moves his store into another zoning district.
Firearms sales shouldn't pose any problems Salado police Chief Jack Hensley said Thursday. He believes ATF and federal regulations control gun sales enough to where it doesn't concern him.