Lebanon, OH city councilman to open downtown gunshop

The Dayton Daily News reported recently that Lebanon, OH City Councilman Jeff Monroe has plans to open a gun store in his hometown.

From the article:

A gun shop in downtown Lebanon? Now that people know what Councilman Jeff Monroe's plans are, some aren't taking pot shots.

Monroe and his wife, Wendy, are working hard on their shop on Broadway directly across the LCNB National Bank.

The shop features pastel walls, crown molding and hard wood shelving for a quaint, higher-end look in keeping with the historic downtown area.

The couple plans to sell guns, gun accessories and some clothing and offer advice on gun safety. Wendy Monroe displayed a purse complete with a holster, for a woman to carry her concealed weapon, as an example of merchandise they plan to carry.

"We are not going to be out-of-place in downtown Lebanon, we're going to be in-place," Jeff Monroe said. "We chose it very deliberately."

According to the article, Linda Osterman, the new executive director of the Historic Downtown Lebanon Inc., said when Monroe brought his plans over, she was pleased with what she saw.

"It's not your typical Walmart gun shop," she said. "It's more of a higher class, it's more like an Orvis style, Eddie Bauer look. There will be no guns displayed the windows and no bars on the windows. What we saw was very nicely, well done."

But a gun shop directly across from the bank? LCNB President Steve Wilson said he wouldn't be OK if any old gun shop went in across the street. But as he and his wife have traveled he's seen this type of shop elsewhere.

"There's lots of thriving downtowns that have the hunting and fishing store, the Orvis store and that type of thing and I see that as a complement to downtown," Wilson said.

The article goes on to say that Monroe quit his professorship at Xavier University to open the gun store, also has a second phase of sorts in the works. In tandem with the retail shop he plans to run a think tank on social issues regarding guns.

"Leaving a comfortable job to start something new reflects how strongly I feel about the need for a firearms outfitter like 22Three. The retail store/thinktank combo isn't something you see every day," he said. "It's a little scary but it's a plan I'm passionate about. We want to provide a friendly place to buy firearms and accessories where people are respected and treated well — that also educates the public on gun-related issues."

The article concludes with another positive quote from Ms. Monroe:

"We love Lebanon, obviously. With him being on City Council we are invested in this community," she is quoted as saying. "We really think this business will do nothing but strengthen downtown Lebanon. If there is a variety of the types of stores it's going to be stronger."

The plan is to open by mid-September.

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