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Retail gun sales permit moves on to city council; Major Street Plan approved

The City of Jackson’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a special use permit for retail gun sales in Uptown Jackson. Brian Blankenship of Running Bear Western gave a presentation on the business, which is planned to go into the current Stitched and Stamped location on Adams St.

Due to its location in the central business district, any gun sales require a special use permit. Planning and Zoning Manager Janet Sanders said a couple businesses have received permits for gun sales in the past, one of which is no longer in operation, and another that was for gun repairs.

Blankenship has been a federal firearms dealer since 2005 and has run Running Bear Western since 2016. Blankenship currently runs the business out of a detached building on his property on County Road 239.

“We are a current business,” Blankenship said. “We are hoping to relocate into Jackson and expand our business, so this is not new for us.”

According to Blankenship, the retail business is more than just a gun store and features authentic western and outdoor art, décor, clothing, bedding, custom leather work, knives and firearms. He said many of their items are unique and they work with vendors from Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska.

The business focuses on historical firearms and collector firearms, but also carries modern firearms for hunting, target shooting and self-defense. Blankenship stressed that he will sell everyday firearms, but his niche is to find items that other stores in the area don’t have. He said he will not stock semi-automatic rifles, but will offer them to customers he knows.

The Commission voted 5-1 in favor of the request. The special use permit will have to be approved by the Board of Alderman, and a public hearing on the matter will also be required.

In other action:

The Commission approved updates to the city’s Major Street Plan. The City of Jackson hired a team of traffic engineers from the Lochmueller Group to create a citywide transportation plan.

The plan was presented to the Board of Alderman in January and included changes aimed to create a system of main roads that circle the city, extend collector roadways to logical end points, provide access to areas that are likely to be developed and remove redundant collectors.

City officials worked with the traffic engineers for about a year to create a Major Street Plan that will be used to dictate further development in the city. If a new street on the Major Street Plan is located on a property, developers are required to put in the street as part of their development.

Because they are tied to when developments occur, these streets are not likely to be seen right away. A public hearing was held, but no public comments were given. The Major Street Plan is updated every 10 years.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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