Local Commentary

Guest Commentary: F.C. Firearm Shop Promotes Gun Safety, Education

Falls Church, Virginia is now home to NOVA Firearms, a retail firearms shop located in the heart of our “Little City.” Well that’s not entirely accurate; better said, NOVA Firearms continues to thrive in the heart of Falls Church. This quaint, hometown shop recently relocated from 712 W. Broad Street, just across the street from St. James Catholic School, to 412 W. Broad Street, just above Bedo’s Leatherworks.

NOVA Firearms is quick to welcome everyone in the community to the new shop, not to just sell firearms and accessories, but to educate residents on the sporting aspects of firearms. NOVA Firearms has been in business since December 2010 and due to the overwhelming support of Falls Church, McLean, Arlington, and Alexandria residents, we have been fortunate enough to relocate to our new, larger location.

We are not the typical “gun shop” and visitors will quickly find out that we are a safety oriented, warm, and friendly hometown shop offering the latest products from all the major firearms manufacturers.

As the owner of NOVA Firearms, people have asked me, “Why open a gun shop”? I tell them, “Two reasons; first competitive shooting is a passion of mine and second, it’s my responsibility.” What do I mean? Well, I personally enjoy competitive shotgun, handgun and rifle target shooting. For those folks that are new to competitive shooting, I would refer you to a few good websites that provide an excellent overview of this sport. The International Sports Shooting Foundation: http://www.issf-sports.org/, USA Shooting: http://www.usashooting.org/ and the National Sports Shooting Foundation: http://www.nssf.org/, are just a few of the programs in existence today.

Recently relocating from the Midwest, I can tell you that most prominent Catholic high schools in the St. Louis metro area still hold competitive rifle competitions on school grounds using the same guns found in today’s Olympic Games. With safe handling practices and proper training, recreational shooting can be an enjoyable and thrilling family event.

I personally believe it’s everyone’s responsibility today to become educated on responsible gun ownership.

I also mentioned that it was my responsibility. As an educated military veteran, and one who works closely with our law enforcement community, I know first-hand what happens when people abrogate their rights and responsibilities to protect themselves and their loved ones. Our law enforcement officers are the best in the world at what they do and once they survey a crime scene, they will catch the bad-guys. Unfortunately, they are the ones that pick up pieces of shattered lives and then help us bring closure to unnecessary and tragic events. That said, they are not there to personally protect you or me, they are there to protect the common good. During times of natural disaster, or riots caused by failing economies, our law enforcement officers will do what they can to protect the masses, but it’s our responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones. According to the FBI, firearms are used three to five times more often to stop crimes than to commit them. Thankfully, our founding fathers gave us the ability to protect ourselves and I personally believe it’s everyone’s responsibility today to become educated on responsible gun ownership, to ensure one’s own safety and security in their home, and to preserve the laws that founded our great nation.

NOVA Firearms promotes responsible gun safety and education through several training programs. These programs include: Basic Handgun Safety and Shooting, Defensive Strategies for Women, Refuse to be a Victim, Personal Protection in the Home, and Virginia Concealed Carry Instruction.

NOVA Firearms is a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer utilizing industry best-practices to ensure strict adherence to all Local, State, and Federal firearms laws. Without exception, every customer purchasing a firearm must submit to a background check. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is all about saving lives and protecting people from harm- by preventing firearms from falling into the wrong hands. All NOVA Firearms customers wishing to purchase a firearm must first successfully pass the NICS background check.

While I understand I will not change everyone’s mind when it comes to firearms, my hope is that those same individuals understand there are just as many, if not more, people that enjoy sporting firearms and that one should respect and tolerate differing opinions.

If you have a contrary opinion, I encourage you to stop by and visit our shop. Come talk to me. I would be happy to talk to you and take you to the NRA range so you too can see for yourself, the joys of sporting firearms.

I’d like to thank the News-Press for allowing me the opportunity to rebut some the comments made in last weeks paper and I would just leave you with a few parting comments:

“A government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen…” – Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)

“To disarm the people… was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

 


Dennis Pratte is the owner of NOVA Firearms