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New Gun Store's Proximity To School Stirring Controversy In Local Neighborhood

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Guns sales are up. They have been throughout 2012.

On a firing range, marksmen are testing shields for bulletproof backpacks that parents are buying for their kids. Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand.

Such are the times we live in.

"It hit me hard because this is my community, and I've lived here for 34 years," said Marlene Schnorr of West View.

As a parent and grandparent, Schnorr is very upset about a new business opening in West View.

"My opinion is that I do not want this store to be selling firearms one block away from our school," she said.

West View Elementary School is nearby on Chalfonte Street.

"We were aware of the shop," said Amanda Hartle, of the North Hills School District. "We haven't really had any parent reaction."

Hartle says it's not something that they can control.

"It's really up to the shop owner and possibly West View Borough," said Hartle.

On Saturday morning, what was formerly "Steel Town Tobacco" on Perry Highway will reopen as Steel Town Firearms.

An employee says that because of the heightened arguments over gun control and after what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., they preferred not to talk about the store right now.

At the barbershop across the street, even hunters like Mike Yerman, say they've heard concerns voiced about guns sold so near to a school.

"Yes, it is a concern, and I know a few of our customers have also asked us about it," said Yerman.

Walking with his daughter Riley, Mike Yasko, who is also a hunter, doesn't have a problem with a gun store, if they do background checks and abide by current laws. But he sees no reason for assault weapons in civilian hands.

"I don't see many deer wearing bulletproof vests that need a hollow point bullet for it to go through," Yasko said.

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