PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Plenty of Peoria parents are concerned about a pop-up shop selling ammo right across the street from their kids’ school.
The Patriot Store, which is owned by Fire Up Freedom, is under a temporary tent at Mariposa Grande Lane and Lake Pleasant Parkway. It’s less than 100 yards away from Candeo Peoria, a K-8 charter school. Normally, it has racks and tables filled with t-shirts, flags, and bumper stickers, but the ‘We sell ammo’ sign that appeared along Lake Pleasant Parkway on April 5 is what caught a lot of parents’ eyes.
“Where’s their moral compass?” asked Heather Fisher-Ballinger, mother of a 1st grader at the school.
“There [have] been so many shootings – so many mass shootings at schools – and it’s something that, I don’t want transactions like that going on when my child is in school right across the street,” said Annissa Furr, whose child also attends Candeo.
“In my opinion, I don’t think that an ammo store next to a school is good taste,” said another parent, Jeremy Spreitzer.
We talked to one of the Patriot Store owners, who was aware of parents’ concerns. He didn’t want to go on camera, but he happily showed Arizona’s Family his temporary-use permit. The City of Peoria confirmed the shop is allowed to be there in the following email from Marketing and Communications Manager Kristina Perez:
“The city of Peoria has approved a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for The Patriot Store. A TUP allows for the temporary use of the property for a special sale and can occur at one site up to 30 days at a time for no more than three renewals in a calendar year. This is the third renewal for 2021 so at the conclusion of this TUP term (May 1, 2021), this site will be exhausted for the year. When reviewing a proposed TUP, the city evaluates the site for land use issues like access, hours, noise generation, dust control, lighting, etc. There are no city, state or federal statutes that prevent the sale of new ammunition at such locations.”
Still, that information alone didn’t put parents at ease.
“We’re not like anti, anti-guns,” said Fisher-Ballinger, whose husband has a concealed carry permit. “But we are anti-‘Hey let’s go sell ammo right next to our 7-year-old’s school.’”
Fisher-Ballinger went to have a conversation with the owner after school. She said he listened politely and then even made the decision to take down the ammo signs. To extend an olive branch, he later told Arizona’s Family they’ll only sell ammo on the weekends, rather than during school time.
“That’s a really good start, at least,” Furr said. “If we can’t get it gone, on the weekends would be fantastic.”
Once the TUP is up, the owners will pack up shop and look for either another location, or a brick-and-mortar store in which to sell their goods.