Ammunition manufacturer readies for another round in Park City
A firm that wants to manufacture ammunition at a house in Park Meadows is ready for another round in Park City.
Halo Armament LLC has appealed a City Hall denial of an application for a license for what would be a home-based business. It was a refusal based on zoning rules but one that could become politicized in a community where leaders have taken a stand against illegal guns and municipal firearms laws have been successfully challenged in the past.
The company wants to secure a business license from Park City for a house on the 2800 block of American Saddler Drive. City Hall staffers, though, rejected the application. A municipal report drafted for the appeal indicates staffers found the person who applied on behalf of Halo Armament, LLC is not a primary resident and the proposal did not meet uses allowed by the municipal government’s zoning rules. The report also says "ammunition loading was proposed, but not identified, on the business license application."
Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council are scheduled to consider the appeal at a meeting that starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Marsac Building.
Benjamin Pillmore, the director of Halo Armament LLC, covered a series of issues in the four-page appeal letter to City Hall, including a detailed rundown of the manufacturing process. The letter also indicates the firm wants to assemble guns as part of the business. It would not manufacture the guns, though.
"Halo Armament has sought to follow each step of the city, state and federal business licensing procedures without fault in its pursuit of this business and will do whatever is necessary to move forward," the letter says. "There have been countless books, articles, papers, individuals, companies and time involved and consumed in the design and implementation of this business case and Halo Armament would like to commit that knowledge and information it was founded upon into world-class products."
In an interview, Pillmore said he lives at the address on American Saddler Drive but spends extensive time in New York City for business. He said he wants to manufacture rifle ammunition at the Park Meadows house of his parents. Pillmore said he eventually wants to move Halo Armament LLC into a formal business property.
"Firearm assembly and ammunition loading are both lawful activities that do not require any special licensing or permission to conduct in the privacy of one’s home. Halo Armament seeks to do what is permissible for any private citizen and has sought to abide by the federal, state and local laws in its pursuit of a viable business including many months and expense to obtain a Federal Firearms License suitable to the loading of ammunition and the assembly of firearms for sale," the appeal letter says.
City Hall in February denied the business license. In the denial letter, signed by a business license specialist in the Finance Department, Pillmore was told, "while home occupations are allowed in this and other residential districts, gun manufacturing/production of firearms is not an allowed home occupation."
Pillmore said in an interview his firm is able to manufacture ammunition at a lower cost than other companies, perhaps at a third of the cost.
"It’s a little frustrating. I’ve tried to do everything by rules," he said.
Park City leaders only occasionally deal with firearms issues. In 2014, under pressure from a gun-rights group, the City Council at the time repealed four sections of City Hall law regulating firearms. Earlier, former Mayor Dana Williams joined a nationwide coalition known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
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