Minutes of March 15, 2013

The Town of Sullivan
Zoning Board of Adjustment

ZBA Hearing Minutes of 03/15/2013
Big Daddyz Gunz

Attendance for Big Daddyz Gunz:
Deena Forcier, President of Applicant and Sole Property Owner
251 South Road
Sullivan, NH  03445
Map 5 lot 5 sub 01

ZBA Members in attendance:
Rick Hotchkiss, Chair
Laura Lewandowski
Bob Switzer
Ron Hull
Roger Sweet
Mary Hull, Secretary

Others in Attendance:
Steve Hamilton
Ann Sweet
Clifford Dempster

Meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Chair, Rick Hotchkiss.  
Introductions of all in attendance were shared.

Mrs. Forcier stood to give a presentation of her application.
She stated that her and her husband, Brett Forcier, purchased and moved into town this past December.  Brett went to school for gunsmithing and she works at home for PC Connection.  
She has been online with the ATF and the FBI concerning Big Daddyz Gunz.  She does not want to open a gunshop but rather a business that fabricates and builds guns to the customer’s requests.  The maximum number of firearms for sale would not exceed 10 and that would be for local buyers only.
ATF has approved one of the gun frame prototypes.
Some of her abutters, neighbors have already inquired about having some work done.
Most of her business will be done on-line.  The ATF supports her and she knows she has to follow every state law.  She cannot ship to customers directly but must ship to a licensed dealer only:

Mr. Dempster stated that is incorrect.  You can ship to customers directly if it is a repair but not for purchasing a firearm.

Mrs. Forcier, thanked Mr. Dempster for the information and stated she is still learning.  And that she is not primarily in the selling of firearms but in the fabrication of them.

Mrs. Forcier then demonstrated the prototype pistol grip that can come in a multitude of colors.
The basement of her home is set up with a lathe, mill etc. for manufacturing.  The pistols are finished off with a powder coat finish.  She does not have any plans at the time to add on or build.  Possibly a private a garage for her own use in the future.
There will be minimal testing on the property.  The test range is located at the back of the property and is a private range. There is a hill there that is the backdrop for the test range and Police Chief Carl Wheeler came and approved the site.
Customers can come to her and purchase a firearm in person as long as their background check has passed.  The background check comes with a number so she will be able to call to check on it.

 Roger Sweet asked about wetlands on the property.  There is a pond and other wet areas so the Department of Environmental Services (DES) must also be notified.  Also he asked how close is the firing range to the house.
 Mrs. Forcier replied not far within walking distance.  There is a security system installed with lights.  Ann Sweet asked if the lighting system comes with a hood on each light, as that is preferred.

Roger Sweet also asked about how they dispose of their hazardous materials.  Mrs. Forcier replied that with powder coated there is very little to no hazardous wasted.  What there is is non-toxic.  
She also stated that she has noticed a lot of shooting in the area and it is not from her.  The only shooting done on her range will be done occasionally and for testing.

Mrs. Forcier was asked what type of guns that will be sold or worked on. She replied only handguns.  She and her husband do have their own private collection and she personally does own one assault rifle.

Ann Sweet asked about the on-line sales and if people can come purchase a firearm from the property.  Mrs. Forcier answered that yes they can come and purchase directly from them, however she will keep a maximum of only ten guns on site at any one time.

Mr. Dempster stated that the law says that a gun owner can ship directly to a gunsmith shop for repairs and the shop can send directly back to the customer.  This is for repairs only and not for purchases of a firearm.

Ann Sweet asked for verification that the business would be mainly on-line.  Mrs. Forcier said that it would be mainly on-line however locals can come with appointments only.

Mr. Dempster asked why would people come to you and not go directly to a Smith&Wesson shop?
Mrs. Forcier answered that they handle special designs, colors, silencers and overall gunsmithing.

Mr. Dempster added that the application to the FFL states they will have the right to sell and manufacture silencers, machine guns and other assault weapons.

Mrs. Forcier stated that they do not presently have an FFL license, they first need an approval of the zoning board and the planning board before they can get their FFL license.

Mr. Hamilton asked why would an average citizen need a silencer?

Mrs. Forcier answered some gun clubs use them to cut down on noise, or if shooting bothers peoples’ hearing, they would want a silencer.

Mrs. Dempster then stated that he is violently against the noise.  There has been so much shooting in that area and he violently opposes it.  He won’t take the noise lightly.  He then asked if they were a member of the Cheshire County Fish&Game club.

Mrs. Forcier said that she is not a member yet, but is meaning to join.  There will not be any training or shooting practices with the customers.   They will be doing testing only.

Steve Hamilton stated that for the Planning Board there could be a conflict between testing and training.  

Richard Hotchkiss then went over the review of Application:
 
The Notification List is incomplete. There is an abutter missing, also any mortgage holders, and with wetland areas the Department of Environmental Services must be notified.

Relationship of abutters is missing from Notification list. We need to if they are an abutter, mortgage or wetlands.
 
Are there any conservation or other type of easements on the subject?
property or on abutter’s properties? These have to be treated as abutters
and notified.

Also missing from the application is the current property conformity status statement.  
If the current status is non-conforming provide further information.

Copies of the FFL application were not submitted. With Brett Forcier being the gunsmith and the fabricator for the business, the board feels he should be added to the application.  Mrs. Forcier agreed and stated that that would not be a problem.  We will need a copy of the revised application to the FFL showing Brett being added.

Also if there were any other State of New Hampshire permits that are required, we would need copies of those too.
 
Will any Structures be added to the property? If so the documentation must be provided.

Mr. Hamilton asked Mrs. Forcier to clarify majority of sales on line. Majority is a very broad term.  It needs to be more defined such as 80 – 20%.

Review parking on the plat where customers would park. And also where on the property is the shooting range in comparison to the house and the boundaries.

Will firearms be discharged on the property? If so by whom?

Where? Describe safety provisions?

When? Days and time of day?

What are the anticipated operating hours? Do these agree with the FFL
Application? If not clarify.

Describe anticipated effect on surrounding properties? Value, use etc.

What are the Public Safety Issues? Describe how they are being addressed?

Steve Hamilton then spoke in regards of the upcoming Planning Board meeting.
They will need proof of insurance on Big Daddyz Gunz for the business and the liability of a gun range.
They also would require seeing Brett added to the licenses.

Ann Sweet would like the insurance to include a shooting liability clause in case someone was shot.

Roger Sweet asked for his own information why people buy these types of firearms.

Mrs. Forcier answered for her it is a private collection, some for competition shooting, protection and hunting.

End of discussions –

Motion was made and seconded to continue the meeting to April 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Sullivan Town Hall.

Respectively submitted by

Mary Hull
ZBA Secretary

There has been a date change.
The meeting is being moved to April 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Sullivan Town Hall.

Mrs. Forcier has been notified along with all the ZBA members on March 19, 2013 of the change.