HARRISON, N.Y. -- A new gun store is opening up in the Village of Harrison.
Louis Zacchio plans to open the shop, located at the rear of Harrison Mall, 261 Halstead Ave., in a week or two.
L&L Sports' closest retail competition is in Mount Vernon and Elmsford. Other gun shops in the Hudson Valley are located in Carmel and Patterson, N.Y. More details on their store, which will sell optics and mounting hardware, can be found by clicking here.
Zacchio recognizes that guns are a lightning rod for public debate due to escalating gun violence in America.
"There has obviously been a lot of opinion against this store coming to our small town, especially due to its location near an elementary school, two churches both with nursery schools, and the shops in downtown that cater to children such as a tae kwon do studio and a candy store," one Harrison resident said.
Zacchio said he welcomes anyone to call him at 914-835-4145 or ask him questions in person about his business practices as well as the safe use of firearms for sport or self-defense.
Zacchio has held state and federal licenses to sell firearms for 18 years. He's also a certified trainer.
Securing the initial handgun permit is a lengthy process and can take up to a year.
Anyone who has a state handgun permit, and buy a handgun from Zacchio, won't be able to leave the store with the handgun until all paperwork is completed, and the governing county approves the purchase and the gun is added onto the state permit. This procedure typically takes an average of two to four weeks in Westchester County, according to Zacchio.
Any gun leaving the store must be in its case and unloaded. Likewise, Zacchio said he plans to put up a sign saying no one can walk into his store unless their firearm is unloaded and in its case.
His store has two safes in a locked, windowless room with a motion detector alarm where weapons will be stored. "This is as secure as a bank,'' he told Daily Voice.
Zacchio said no one can walk out with a newly-purchased handgun if they don't have proof that the gun has been added to a county permit. He's also not allowed to let a non-permit holder handle a weapon unless he is holding the muzzle. "I can't let you handle a gun without a permit,'' he said.
On Wednesday, Zacchio said he hopes to open the new store in a week or two.
"Most of my clientele is law enforcement and first responders,'' Zacchio said.
Other potential customers are business professionals including chief executive officers and lawyers.
"I care if you're a good person or a criminal,'' Zacchio said, noting he is required to run a federal background check before anyone can leave his store with a newly-purchased weapon.
Anyone over 18 can buy a shotgun or rifle without a county permit if they provide valid ID and pass the background check.
That did not allay fears of some local business owners. One Harrison businessman said that while he believes in Second Amendment rights to own a gun, "I would not want them opening up next door to me."
Zacchio said he's been asked about the proximity of Parsons Elementary School -- about 300 yards away on Halstead Avenue -- but no law bars a licensed gun dealer from being located near a school.