A Berwyn resident just received a business license to open a gun store in Oak Park. And now a neighborhood group is holding a forum next week to learn more about their new neighbor.
Justin Delafuente, 27, just picked up his business license from village hall on Monday, to open Windy City Firearms at 6338 W. Roosevelt Rd. The store would not have any inventory on site, rather, customers would be able to purchase their firearms online, and then pick them up at the office just east of Ridgeland.
Some residents have expressed concerns about what impacts the shop might have on the neighborhood. So, the South East Oak Park Community Organization is hosting a community meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to ask Delafuente questions and learn more about Windy City Firearms.
SEOPCO has invited Police Chief Rick Tanksley to the forum, too, along with members of the village board, according to Allan Flynn, a board member for the group who's lived in south Oak Park for 26 years. They plan to gather questions from the audience and ask the panel for details on the gun store.
"If the village has deemed it proper for him to start his business on Roosevelt Road, then obviously there's some reasons why," Flynn said. "And I think if everyone has the information, we'll all be better neighbors, and they'll be better business people."
Delafuente was unavailable for comment Monday night, according to his stepdad Larry D'Antonio, the Berwyn resident who owns Bull Sharpening right next door, and will be renting out the 1,000-square-foot space. But D'Antonio confirmed that he and his stepson plan to attend. He was unsure, though, of the exact opening date for the store.
"We're not trying to piss anyone off; we're not trying to do anything like that," D'Antonio said. "If I can educate some people and give them my side, that's all we can do at this point."
Windy City Firearms would only deal in long guns, such as rifles and shotguns and not handguns or assault weapons (though Delafuente said he would be allowed to sell handguns to people working in law enforcement). According to a letter that former Village Attorney Ray Heise wrote to Delafuente back in June, such an establishment is allowed within the village's borders.
The forum is scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the auditorium of Irving Elementary School, 1125 S. Cuyler Ave.