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Parents Sound Alarm, Point Fingers At Lawmakers After Gun Shop Opens Near School In Tenafly, N.J.

TENAFLY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- There is a debate in a New Jersey community after a gun store opened near an elementary school.

To be clear, this isn't a question about whether the gun shop is legal. The owner went through all the proper channels to open. It's more a question some parents are raising about optics -- and what's really best for a school community.

If you want to make moms and dads feel more comfortable in uncertain and often scary times, opening a gun shop a few hundred feet from where several hundred young children attend school might not be the way to go.

"Overall, I think it's a terrible idea," parent David Miller told CBS2's Jessica Layton.

Miller said he wonders what the council and Mayor Mark Zinna were thinking allowing a building full of weapons on the same block as his two kids' elementary school in Tenafly.

"I don't think it's a great idea. I really think the kids need an environment of safety. This is not an issue of rights. It's just a proximity issue," Miller said.

Enough parents have sounded their own alarm bells about the business -- however discreet looking it is on the corner of County Road -- that the superintendent sent home a letter saying in part, "We, like you, just learned of the new store and understand the concerns. Mayor Zinna has confirmed that all local zoning, and state and federal safety requirements for this type of store have been met and that the store applied for and received licensing from Bergen County."

"I feel like do not overreact," parent Ye Jia said.

Jia said while it may be a little close, he believes the business is secure and poses no threat. In fact, he was there Wednesday morning.

"The owner, he asked me, 'Do you have your gun license?' I showed him. They have a video doorbell on it, you have to ring the doorbell, and literally if you don't have a gun license you are never getting inside," Jia said.

Layton found that out for herself when she tried to get comment from the owner. Nobody came to the door, which was locked.

She called the mayor and superintendent for an interview on camera, but neither one made themselves available.

CBS2's Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

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