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One Year Ago: New Gun Shop in Town

by Bobby Blair
December 10, 2011

When published this article about the new business in town, we were not prepared for the ensuing controversy.

Have you run out of ideas for that perfect gift for Christmas?

We logged well over 100 comments, both for and against, about a gun shop in Holliston.

There's an unusual new business in downtown Holliston, a gun shop.

Holliston's newest business downtown is Mark Heavner FFL (Federal Firearms License). Heavner's gun shop is located at 838 Washinton Street next to the Middlesex Savings Bank.

Heavner stocks a full range of pistols as well as long rifles. Heavner, who grew up in town, has his own contruction business as well as being an on- call fireman for the town's fire department.

With the construction trade a "little slow" and the thought of retirement coming up, Heavner decided to put his interest and knowledge of guns into a practical means.

Update 2011:

In his second year of business Mark expects to sell about 700 rifles, shot guns and pistols, far exceeding his expectations. His customers are mainly members of local clubs, trap and skeet shooters, and competition pistol shooters. The store takes trades and guns on consignment. Gift certificates are also available.

Heavner said: " Business is booming!  We now have regular hours (see below). The website is still but it has grown". 

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 3:00 to 6:00 pm
Thursdays  4:00 to 8:00 pm
Saturday  9:00 to 1:00
Any time by appointment!. Call me.


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Comments (105)

Congrats Mark! It's nice to see the local downtown businesses are doing well! Merry Christmas!

- Matt | 12/14/11 11:26 AM

Proud to say that much of my expendable income this year has gone to Mark Heavner FFL. Congratulations on the one year under your gun belt and Merry Christmas. 4 guns from you and counting Mark; you know they'll be more...

- Tyler Ramrath | 12/13/11 11:12 PM

Welcome to the firearm dealers community Mark (I am a Class III manufacturer/Special Occupational Taxpayer dealing mostly with machine guns in New Hampshire). I like the location of your new shop, and think you will do well there. I lived in that house for a few years while my parents owned it (and they operated a business there in the barn out back) in the 70s-80s. There is a need for a Firearm dealer in that area, and judging from the posts here you should do well. My sister still lives in the area, and is looking for a pistol. I will bring her by the next time I am down that way, and look forward to seeing your shop. Congratulations. Glenn Morris

- Glenn Morris | 3/25/11 5:29 AM

A firearm in the hands of a properly trained individual does not "perpetrate voilence", it ensures freedom. It constantly amazes me how mis-infomrmed so-call educated people can be. Please do your homework before you espouse ignorant rhetoric. For starters, check out what the leading causes of death are in this country.

Good Luck Mr. Heavner, I hope to meet you soon.

- Joe B. | 3/22/11 4:12 PM

According to the US Census Bureau,in Holliston as of 2009, 79% of Holliston residents age 25 and over held bachelor's degrees or higher and 35.8% held graduate or professional degrees. For a town filled with many supposedly well-educated people, there is an immense amount of just plain idiosy regarding firearms. Just look at the first post here. Karen, are you just plain stupid? even if you know absolutely nothing about firearms, all it takes is 1 short search on google to figure out how hard it is for any non law-abiding citizen in Massachusetts to obtain a firearm from a gunshop. And do you think you could break down for me what exactly the nature of this community is? From the number of posts on here, one could pretty easily deduce that this community is largely made up of law-abiding gun owners who for some reason actually support a hard working resident such as Mr. Heavner opening a small local business to support himself. and regarding the former washington street resident who mentioned that the shop is within shooting distance of the kids' playground, the candy store and private residents' homes- what do you think happens in a gunshop? do you think somebody walks in, buys a .45 on a whim, walks out of the store holding it loaded in there hand and goes "hey this things pretty sweet!" and squeezes off a few rounds as they walk down the road to get in there car? really? That is one of the stupidest comments i read on here, and that anonymous poster needs a good beating with a stick with reality check carved into it. God bless you Mr. Heavner for putting up with all of this stupidity over the opening of your little store, and I hope all the contraversy and publicity it seems to have gotten only helps your business grow.- Robbie Randall, life-long Holliston resident.

- Robbie Randall | 3/14/11 11:40 PM

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Mr Heavners shop yesterday, and for a relatively new business, I'm very impressed, so far. due to illness, he wasn't there, but i did meet both his wife and brother, both of which were very pleasant and helpful, and I'm sure Mr. Heavner will meet that same expectation.

For those of you who believe that having a gun shop in downtown Holliston would make this town more dangerous, or that its a scar on the face of the community, that's simply not the case... in Massachusetts, a firearms dealer is not allowed to sell a firearm to an person unless they are licensed. to obtain a license you're required to take a safety course, be fingerprinted, photographed, and a background check is performed. anywhere from 40-90 days later, the license arrives and they can then purchase a firearm. Every time a firearm is purchased, the individual's fingerprint is re-checked, they're subjected to another state background check, as well as a federal background check performed by the FBI and only if all these checks are sucessful, are they allowed to purchase a firearm. again, before anyone is allowed to purchase their first firearm, they go through 3 background checks, they're photographed, fingerprinted, subjected to a waiting period, and a 10 hour firearm safety course. The people who will be patronizing Mr. Heavners business arent thugs, they're not gang members, and they're not a threat to society, they ARE however law-abiding, responsible, educated, people, who simply want to defend themselves and their families, and/or to participate in the shooting sports.

i applaud Mr. Heavners new business venture, and im sure I'll be happy with the many purchases im sure to make

- Michael H | 1/28/11 3:22 PM

I've voted with and voiced my support of Mr. Heavner with my wallet and have already made several purchases at his new business. He's put himself out on a personal and professional limb to help support the local firearms enthusiast community and he deserves our support in return. I've only come to know Mark recently but can say I've rarely met a kinder, more respectful, knowledgeble and all around decent man. And if people had even a remote understanding of what he (or anyone for that matter) had to go through to become licesnsed to sell firearms you'd have to ask yourself what they were thinking. It's the most in depth, invasive, thourough examination into a persons background that the Federal government undertakes. Not unlike getting a government security clearance. It's a ling difficult road and we should all be grateful he undertook this because we, the firearms owning community, benefit greatly from the efforts of men like Mark Haevner. As I said, he's a phenomenal guy, truly a pillar of the community, a pleasure to do business with, and a class act all around. While he tries to make an honest living in a lawful business providing a much needed and desired service at great personal expense. And fwiw, I wonder how many of his detractors here volunteer and heroically put their lives on the line for their fellow townfolk every day as he does as an experienced firefighter. He was just another anonymous guy in a turnout coat saving their lives and property until he dared open a business they found socially unnacceptable. Shameful. He'll have my business as long as his doors are open, and I trust that will be for many successful years to come.

- Steve O. | 1/21/11 3:45 PM

To Fred Spencer, I would target shoot with my preferably U.S. made handgun. Have you ever tried IPSC shooting?

- MikFinkel | 1/1/11 1:28 PM


Being a victim is bad.

See you at the new shop!

- mitch | 12/30/10 6:58 PM

I am so glad to see the overwhelming support and response to our neighbor's new business.

- Steve Zaino | 12/27/10 7:01 PM

MA towns proudly display statutes of a private citizen Minute Man, standing ready to shoot his own long gun as our America was being born.

So why do auto license plates in anti-gun MA hypocritically proclaim "THE SPIRIT OF AMERICA"?

We should remove that slogan from our cars until government stops opposing our natural right to own and publicly display guns.

Holliston's new gun shop defends our Constitution and our freedom.

- Bob Multer | 12/25/10 4:16 PM

Great article, Mr. Heavner sounds like a perfect person for this venture, cannot wait to visit and purchase in his new shop. The need for a shop close by is great. Good Luck !!

- Harry Garrabedian | 12/24/10 3:02 PM

Too much flapping at the mouth, or keyboard. Mark, I will be by early next week to support you in the only way that counts, with my dollars. I cringe a little bit every time I put money on the counter at Dicks or WallyWorld. Glad to have you near by. That Mossy 535 combo will be a welcome addition to my safe.

- Jay | 12/24/10 2:14 PM

Really D. Loken? Really? Labor Unions forcing labor wages wayyyyy too high have forced what would be American jobs over seas, in the hands of prison workers, or to be done by machines. Now think about that Mr. Loken; it is cheaper for American companies to send their materials over seas, have them be made, and then ship them back to America than to pay an american to do it. Plus, these workers have such a sense of entitlement instilled in them by unions that they won't do jobs that pay less when times are hard. So, the Companies hire illegal aliens and then there are no jobs to be had a all. Unions are the cause of globalization, and part of the reason why we have such an economic crisis in this country. Wise up.

- Proud non-union man | 12/24/10 12:48 PM

Liberals should go live under a rock. Maybe that will protect them? Police are only minutes away when seconds count.

Maybe you libbies will have a friend with a firearm to protect you when you need it? Look, the Founders knew the nature of man, and to protect against "all enemies both foreign and domestic". Lots of domestic enemies these days.

- Howe's Sentry | 12/24/10 2:20 AM

Dave_a wrote: "...most people are not professional enough to handle a firearm."

Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, how dare you assume that *you* are professional enough to handle a firearm and somebody like me is not?

Yours is the whole center piece of the patronizing, ignorant, liberal argument of "we know better than you do."

Good luck with the store Mr. Heavner

- Steve | 12/24/10 12:50 AM

Best wishes on your new business venture. I am in Holliston most days through my employment, and I will be visiting your establishment. I am an AR15 shooter and I have many, many of them in different configurations, optics, etc. Just think, I always have a concealed firearm on my person and I am in Holliston daily.

Oh, the horror!!!

- Larry | 12/23/10 9:52 PM

Right, only let the government own guns, like in Nazi Germany.

Maybe, most people can't handle a gun, but that doesn't negate their right to learn how to handle one and own it if they choose to exercise their Constitutional right.

Best wishes to Mr. Heavner and the success of his business.

- Michael | 12/23/10 9:44 PM

People should avoid these gun manufactures because they are non union. Colt is a union company. Don't buy from forein or non union manufactures.

- D. Loken | 12/23/10 9:38 PM

Meanwhile, Top Gun Supply is expanding in my town, and moving down the street to an awesome new location. I'm stoked. I live around the corner.

- Saub Knet | 12/23/10 8:45 PM

I agree with my fellow idiot liberals. CLOSE THIS SHOP NOW!!

- arock | 12/23/10 8:40 PM

I think it's fabulous! This all about basic American rights. Gays should be able to serve in the military, and this man should be able to sell guns in Holliston. Sorry about my grammar.

- Gene Fyfe | 12/23/10 8:18 PM


- TONY MIELNICKI | 12/23/10 8:17 PM

Mark, congratulations on your new venture. I am confident that with your knowledge and experience you will successful.

Ed Glickman

- Ed Glickman | 12/23/10 8:14 PM

I cannot beleive the ignorant comments by people who oppose this business just because it's a gun shop. You should research an issue before you formulate an opinion then you can make an intelligent comment for or against. Comments such as machine guns for hunting and armour piercing bullets or suicides are just an example of how ignorant and ill-informed people in Mass. are. We have the strictest gun-laws in America but lead the North-east in crime per capita. Seems our restrictive gun-laws are worrking. Good Luck in your business venture Mr. Heavner.

- Walter | 12/23/10 8:00 PM

Massachusetts, birthplace of the American Revolution and home of screeching, liberal ninnies. Hang tough Mister Heavner.

- Rhody Rick | 12/23/10 7:35 PM

Just to make it clear. I have nothing against firearms, I was a screen door gunner on a submarine for my entire navy career; however, most people are not professional enough to handle a firearm.

- dave_a | 12/23/10 7:33 PM

Only a couple hundred years ago, the very soil that your house stands on was stained by the blood of patriots who understood the value of a personal firearm. The freedoms they earned for us with their lives shall not be forgotten. Kudos to you Sir, for you are doing what's right, in an area that is too shallow-minded to remember their very foundation.

Congratulations and best of luck to you. Hope your business does very well.

- Mark | 12/23/10 7:17 PM

I'm not sure I like anyone outside of the government owning firearms. People are taking this liberty thing way to far.

- dave_a | 12/23/10 7:09 PM

theres a lot of stupid in these comments. also a lot of hilarious satire. bravo!

ps- AR15s and AR10s are used for hundting all the time. bolt rifles came from military mausers, its the logical progression to use AR's today.

- JD | 12/23/10 7:02 PM

First gun shops then porn shops. The next thing you know, we'll see shops selling parts of mutilated animals placed on a kaiser roll.

- Robert | 12/23/10 6:31 PM

To the owner good luck. Not easy to open a shop especially in this economy. Although gun shop is a good choice.

To the detractors respectfully.

Please go to

To Tim,

The stats also show that when the firearms are removed from the stats the number of youths who commit suicide remains the same. The method used changes not that fact that there is suicide among teens. Is 98% dead due to knife wounds more acceptable?

To the comment about motorcycles:

Should you close repair shops and auto dealerships in your community as well?

To not buying in town:

I believe there are no legal gun dealers in Lynn, Dorchester, or Quincy, Roxbury if those towns are more acceptable.

- Bob | 12/23/10 6:31 PM

Good luck Mark with your new business, I wish you all the success. I fully support our second ammendment and the rights of citizens to carry arms. If folks have a problem with your business, it's their problem. They are typically mis-informed and uneducated.

- Bob | 12/23/10 6:21 PM

Question for the person who posted below that there are too many guns in Holliston:

How many guns are there in Holliston?

How many is too many?

Congrats Mr. Heavner. I will be down soon to see your shop.

- Rick Roma | 12/23/10 6:13 PM

Congratulations on the new business -- I look forward to visiting and seeing your inventory!

- Lisa | 12/23/10 5:15 PM

Just cause of Karen, the first post, I am going to come and visit the shop. I will look around outside and I am sure the person giving me the stink-eye will be her.

- RecallDeval | 12/23/10 5:09 PM

Please dont let the Hoplophobes get to you, Good luck and best wishes in the coming year

- N/A | 12/23/10 4:32 PM

So all I have to do to chase liberals away from my town is open a gun shop? Sounds like a plan.

This set of comments is a showcase of classic liberalism. A bunch of precious, dizzy, pampered nitwits who know absolutely nothing about guns or gun crime, all screeching about machine guns.

What a joke. Pathetic.

You have any idea how much a machine gun costs? An M16 goes for around $15,000. Plus you have to submit fingerprints and a photo to the feds and wait around 6 months for the permit.

But go ahead and keep screeching, might as well provide some amusement value for everyone.

- Bruce | 12/23/10 4:19 PM

Marie says... immediately disarm our entire police force... The police can use pepper spray, tasers, and martial arts. However, this stood out - They can also try speaking nicely to the criminals to get them to cooperate. That's what I would do if a rapist broke into my home...

What's your address? I have something for you.

- Nevlin | 12/23/10 4:19 PM

If I ever become a criminal I am moving here. These people deserve to get robbed.

- J Calabrese | 12/23/10 4:12 PM

This just kills me. People afraid of firearms and know virtually nothing about them.

Automatic weapons? Seriously - get a clue. You have no idea of what an automatic weapon is friends.

Like a porn shop, don't like the warez, don't shop there. Let the market decide.

MA politicians are traitors to the constitution. Every person has the right to self-preservation, but certain states conspire to deny citizens the means to do so.

Facts are facts people. The more you restrict access to citizens, the higher the crime and homicide rates go.

Compare: MD, NY, NJ, MA, ILL, CA and explain why the rate of crimes there is so much higher than Alaska, where no permit is needed to carry a firearm. How can you possible explain that?

What you want to do is make this an emotional issue and toss logic out the window.

Try visiting a state that trusts their citizens. It's called liberty. Try it sometime - you may actually find it refreshing.

- MarylandShooter | 12/23/10 3:34 PM

Congratulations Mr. Heavner on your new business!! I applaud your courage and fortitude to not only go through the rigorous process of starting and opening up a gun store but to also deal with the small minded, uninformed, zero tolerance folks in and around your town. Unfortunately, it is they who should be feared and not firearms! All the best to you and your family and wishing you much success in your new endeavor!

- Manny | 12/23/10 3:31 PM

Good luck with your new shop. We need more people like you in town.

- Rob M | 12/23/10 3:23 PM

I find it hard to comprehend the irresponsible childish comments by some so called adults. Our fundamental freedoms that our forefathers fought so hard to protect and are to this day being protected by the valiant efforts by those in our armed services are being challenged more than ever by closed minded individuals that double dead bolt their doors at night. This is the United States of America we live in. This not the Peoples Republic of Holliston. The Gun Shop has every right to be downtown or anywhere elese for that matter, it is Mr. Heavner's right to operate the business of his desire and of his expertise and the constitution gurantees that, please don't loose sight of that. I wish him the best of luck and future success.

- Bill Bernard | 12/23/10 3:16 PM

Wow,what a large number of misinformed opinionated people for such a small town!

Killing animals with automatic weapons, the standing Army is the militia, not buying a house here because there is a gun store in town, etc

I suppose the meat some of the complainers eat comes from animals that are convinced to commit suicide (not killed), and you won't but a house in a town that has a licor store, cutlery shop or car dealership

A brain is a terrible thing to waste. Please, use it!

- Ed | 12/23/10 2:58 PM

We have way too many guns in town. This shop should be shut down immediately. We should also immediately disarm our entire police force. No good can come from people running around with guns. The police can use pepper spray, tasers, and martial arts. They can also try speaking nicely to the criminals to get them to cooperate. That's what I would do if a rapist broke into my home or when one the serial burglars who are working our town breaks in when I'm home.

- Marie | 12/23/10 2:57 PM

People worried about automatic weapons don't know how expensive those guns are. We're talking thousands of dollars to start, going up to the tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention MA requires an additional license for them, which is at your Chief of Police's discretion. Folks who buy them legally don't commit crimes with them, that would be a waste of money and ruin their investment. Folks who buy them illegally won't be going to a gun store. Also, understand that new automatics have not been available to John and Jane Average since 1986. Only the cops and military get new ones.

Those worried about people carrying guns around the streets, please check the MA laws on such: long guns (shotguns/rifles) must be unloaded and in a case while on a public way. Pistols can be carried, but you have to be appropriately licensed. Chances are, newly bought pistols will be in a case and a bag anyway (easier to carry it to the car). And if they're being carried, you probably won't see it anyway.

- pdm | 12/23/10 2:56 PM

Congratulations on your venture Mark! Hope the nonsense from the lefties doesn't get to you.

- John | 12/23/10 2:20 PM

Note- Our Great Country's independence and this Nations own Sovereignty began within 20 miles of where you are right now! How sad of a state of affairs it is now to realize the fear and handwringing the word, "gun" incites? It's time to get a grip fretters.

- Bob Canning | 12/23/10 1:30 PM

To-Kristine, Karen, James Reed, "Holliston resident concerned about guns in bags"

Please allow me to instruct you all in an NRA "Basic Pistol Course", FREE! I would consider this to be an honor.



- Bob Canning | 12/23/10 1:24 PM

Nice. My gf and I are considering doing the same thing next Spring. Not to many options of stores in MA. Hope you guys can dig up some MA approved Glocks. Good luck. This I think will make for a good little retirement shop for you.

- Paul | 12/23/10 11:18 AM

Guess we need to make rope and plastic bags illegal too if teens are just going to kill themselves with them. No more prescription drugs either, even if they are sick; wouldn't want them to commit suicide or anything...

- 7 Gun owner right next door, Just got another one ;) | 12/23/10 3:51 AM

Teens have zero access to legally purchased firearms, unless they steal them(the guns then become illegally obtained). And there are plenty of ways to kill one's self. Walk in front of a bus, jump off a building. Guns are a tool, one that could be misused by a suicidal teen. No different than a tall building, of a fast moving bus. The only difference is that the latter two are much more accessible.

- 7 Gun owner right next door, Just got another one ;) | 12/23/10 3:45 AM

As long as the proper licenses are in place I think we should let the

fee market system determine the fate of this establishment. If there is a demand for the products offered for sale, then so be it. If not, then it will eventually close. That's the American Way.

- Mark Edward | 12/22/10 11:57 AM

In 2005 according to the CDC, 4400 youths died of suicide. 46% by firearms, 36% suffocation/hanging, and 8% by poisoning/overdose. When a depressed teen decides to end his life and he has access to a gun in the home he will be 90% successful. If he tries to kill himself with carbs at least he will have some time to rethink his decision.

- Tim | 12/21/10 11:48 PM

Well, if we are going to hate on all the places in town that sell weapons:

Dunkin Donuts needs to go, Carbs are the weaponed murderer of the masses

Holliston Hardware must be persecuted, I saw knives, saws, and even fertilizer to make bombs with, shameful of them. Do you know where ax murderers get their weapon of choice???

CVS Is selling all kinds of Drugs to the people of this town, narcotics and diet pills

The Martial Arts studio: They are making HUMAN Weapons!!!

Gas Station, an Arsonist's wet dream........

Paint n Party, They sell plaster clubs to children!

All the antique shops, I nearly die of all the nick nacks every time I go to my Grandmother's.

Veterans, Trained to kill, Guess We'll have to kick them all out of town.

Need I go on Karen?????

- 6 Gun Owner Right next door | 12/18/10 11:13 PM

If anyone has any concerns about whether or not guns cause crime, I think the answer is pretty clear at this website:

- Tyler | 12/18/10 10:47 PM

Just got the email alert from HPD about the rash of break-ins. I went to the hardware store and they were out of hornet spray. Maybe Mr. Heavner could open on Sunday so we could all be prepared.

- Stumpy | 12/18/10 9:25 PM

We happen to have a rod and gun club in town and presumably residents who use guns responsibly. This is a legitimate business and I think the more variety in our businesses, the better the town will be for it.

- Linda in Holliston | 12/17/10 4:27 PM

What's next complaining about a Camera store that opens up in town because someone might take a pornographic picture with it?

- Pete Hill | 12/17/10 7:10 AM

I will patronidge there and make my wife go there too.

- Christopher Gadsden | 12/16/10 8:22 PM

What we all need to understand here is that the right to bear arms was not meant to defend us against one another, but rather to defend us against a tyrannous government. To those comments regarding a well regulated militia, you are talking about the government being armed. The second amendment was put in so the citizenship could protect itself against just such a situation.

Below are a few quotes form our founding fathers on the subject.

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"

-- Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"

-- George Washington

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

I think they were perfectly clear on the place of arms in society and where they belong.

Cudos to Mr. Heavner and good luck with your shop.

- Tony Gallo | 12/16/10 8:11 PM

To,Not Buying in Holliston

The only comment on this whole page that shocked me was yours. I have lived here all my life and while there are things that trouble me about the town. To not buy in OUR town because of a gun shop. That's a ridiculous comment, liberal cause's or conservative cause's your neither just crazy.

- Doc Hostetler | 12/15/10 9:23 PM

I certainly hope they put the guns in bags (especially the rifles) so we don't see people walking out of there with guns in hand. I really don't like the idea of them downtown, but I wouldn't not buy a home here because of it....that's a little extreme. Anyone know if the massage place is still in that building? I saw the sign came down about a month ago...also, hoping a "gunshop" sign DOESN'T go up there!

- Holliston Resident | 12/15/10 4:10 PM

As Mark Heavners daughter, I would like to say that I am extremely proud of what he is doing and it takes a lot of effort to start up your own business. That is the big picture that most of you are not seeing, someone who was able to build a business from the ground up in this economy and who is doing well at the same time. Even though it has been said, it is people that kill people not guns that kill people. Maybe before passing judgment, you should go into the store and meet my dad and talk to him about guns and the laws of being a gun owner. My mother always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say, than don't say anything at all!

- Karly Heavner | 12/15/10 3:59 PM

Well, if you're going to MANUFACTURE guns then Hopping Brook is a good location, but if you're SELLING guns then downtown on a busy street in a visible location makes sense to me. I don't own a gun nor do I want one, but does a gun store really strike fear into people? I think I'm more afraid of the traffic trying to cross Washington Street than I am of a gun store.

Last time I looked, it WAS a free country, and this business is free to establish here within the laws of the town and commonwealth, and I'm pretty sure those laws have been met.

- Resident | 12/15/10 9:18 AM

Read the Holliston reporter storey on "Kissing Balls". This should be the real debate. Who authorized kissing balls in downtown Holliston?

- six gun sal | 12/15/10 7:58 AM

Again I say, Mr. Heavner, Good for you and good for the community of Holliston. Who knew that opening a firearms store could help make the town a happier place. You've got them running!! Their ignorance is astounding. Guns don't kill or rob people, people do that whether they have a gun or not. Should everyone have a gun, obviously not, that is why background checks are done. The shady ones who plan evil are going to get a gun no matter what the law says or whether your stories in town or not. The wise ones will be able to protect themselves when trouble comes.

For those who have no experience with firearms, go educate yourselves a little. Go to a shooting range and see for yourself, just watch. See the care, caution, safety and respect practiced by gun owners and mandated by the range masters. You'll see the good side of this sport and who knows what you might take from the experience. Be sure to wear hearing protection.

Larry Paolini

- Larry Paolini | 12/15/10 4:16 AM

We just moved here in August and have been renting. We have been saving to buy a home and send our kids to school here. Now that I see this we are sure we will not buy a home here. If we wanted to live near a gun store, we would have bought in a town with a Walmart. Boo.

- Not Buying in Holliston | 12/15/10 12:54 AM

Congratulations on the new start-up Mark. I hope it goes well for you.

- Rich Girvin | 12/15/10 12:39 AM

No one is arguing that Mr. Heavner doesn't have the "right" to sell guns. Of course he does. The question is the wisdom of a gun shop right in the center of town.

I have a "right" to ride a motorcycle going 65mph on 1-93 in New Hampshire without a helmet but that doesn't necessarily make it a smart thing to do. I have looked through the Selectmen's minutes and see no discussion at all about the gun shop. I'm not sure why something as important as this wouldn't be put up for public comment. Perhaps he went before the ZBA. I recognize a lot of you are gun supporters but the rights you enjoy in your home or your personal life don't extend outside of that. For instance you can't bring your loaded pistol into a school. So rights have to be balanced with other issues. A lot of us recognize that opening certain kinds of businesses detract from the property values and atmosphere of our downtown. I'm pretty sure no one wants to see a strip club downtown despite the fact that a business owner may have the "right" to open one up. Are we at the point in this town where anything goes. Any business owner can open up whatever shop he wants no matter what? Before you start hurling insults at people you describe as "liberals" and "idiots" please recognize that there are deeply held opinions on both sides. Perhaps opening a gun shop closer to the Sportsmen's Club or in Hopping Brook would have been a better idea.

- Holliston Resident | 12/14/10 10:52 PM

Sorry Scott, but as one who knows, a Louisville Slugger in your hands is not much of a weapon.

- Choo-Choo | 12/14/10 10:13 PM

Think of all the injuries that have occurred in Holliston due to firearms. Now, think of all the injuries that have occurred during athletic events. What is more dangerous and which has claimed more lives in the past five years in Holliston? By some peoples' logic we should be banning sports...

- Chris | 12/14/10 7:13 PM

I love a good discussion but to imply the sale of armor piercing bullets, automatic weapons, illegal residential discharge and a risk of use to perpetrate violence is just a bunch of libelous slander against a small startup business. As such, It leaves little room for grownup discussion.

- Don MacLeod | 12/14/10 6:24 PM

Wow, I think this is the most comments on an article yet!? Pull!!

- Shooter | 12/14/10 6:21 PM

Dear Scott:

Our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Afghanistan are the well regulated militia and they deserve all the fire power that's required, which they have...I find it objectionable when our police are out gunned on the streets and we're selling armour piercing bullets to civilians etc...I'm a strong supporter of small business and I wish Mark Heavner all the best.

- Lee DeSorgher | 12/14/10 3:30 PM

Wow!! This is a very interesting topic.

As Mr. Heavner's brother I would like to thank those of you that support his effort to start a new business in town. I know the licensing process was a long and tedious one to go through with all the background checks and all the state and federal rules.

As for the name calling, I think it stems from people not being well educated on firearm owners. First of all most gun owners don't think of a gun as weapon when they are at the trap range or shooting range. As I sit here and type this, I see all sorts of weapons across my desk. My weapon of choice at my bedside happens to be a baseball bat. Should we bad mouth the kids a Flagg Field on a Sunday afternoon for possible sending other kids to Chesmores prematurely.

I think not. Stop by and speak with my brother about his hobby and I think you will enjoy the experience.

PS Lee, In your strict interpretation of the 2nd Amendment do you suggest that our sons and daughters in Afghanistan and Iraq use muskets?A

Scott Heavner

- Scott Heavner | 12/14/10 2:28 PM

If someone needs time to mull an idea over or needs more information on the subject then they should take the time and get the information BEFORE they decide to put it out in print! ESPECIALLY if they are so uninformed as to think that a law abiding business/businessman would allow a firearm to be discharged "next to a candy store" or "within shooting distance of a park". I, also, think that is idiotic ... And I have thought that over and have my facts straight! If you don't like a business in town, then don't go there. But don't begrudge someone the right to earn a living! Kudos to you, Mr. Heavner, and good luck.

- Another law abiding resident | 12/14/10 1:52 PM

Question-Do they sell automatic weapons? And for my hunting friends (and yes my crazy liberal self does have hunting friends who I very much love and appreciate)-is there ever an instance when one would use an automatic weapon for hunting? And if so, isn't that kind of like Auschwitz for animals? Doesn't seem like a fair fight.

- Diane | 12/14/10 1:00 PM

Thanks Law Abiding Citizen,too!

- Diane | 12/14/10 12:42 PM

Why can we not react to a newly opened gun store in our small town - with differring opinions? Why is someone deemed "some sort of idiot" for expressing concern about a business that sells weapons? No one is disputing Mr. Heavner's right to sell firearms, or his fine service to Holliston as a volunteer firefighter, only his choice of where to sell handguns. Could it be that some of us are just genuinely surprised and need some time/information around the idea? Calling your neighbors names does not make you right. Hang on to your manners, please. You are scaring some of us who don't choose to shoot anything or anybody, or marry someone who does.

- Law Abiding Citizen, too | 12/14/10 11:52 AM

Mr. Heavner, Good for you and good for the community of Holliston. To the hypocritical liberals, you and your ilk tout diversity, tolerance, freedom from one side of your mouth. From the other side of your mouth you condemn whatever is not of your agenda. It's like saying, you can be as diverse as you want to be, as long as you're just like me. Liberalism IS a mental disorder.

- Larry Paolini

- Larry Paolini | 12/14/10 4:56 AM

Have been into the shop and have nothing but praise for Mr. Heavner. He's extremely knowledgeable and professional. Pleased to spend my hard-earned dollars in a local-owned business operating in the most heavily regulated state in the country for firearms. Perhaps those with negative comments should reflect on why with the strictest gun laws in the country, MA rates the highest in violent crime. Could it be that crimes are committed by those with illegal weapons and no licenses/training?!!! Maybe some people should think before they speak. Have they been into the shop? Do they know anything about the licensing process? Have they read the U.S. Constitution or do they simply choose to support only their beliefs when it's convenient for them. I guess that's why they say ignorance is bliss.

- Law Abiding American | 12/14/10 12:56 AM

Perhaps the second amendment is not to your liking and you think it should not be there. Well there are a few others that the masses do not agree on. Should we throw the whole document out and start from scratch? The problem with Liberals is that when they dislike something the feel no one should have them. Conservatives just dont use them and enjoy their freedom. An armed society is a polite society.


- Ivan Pena | 12/13/10 11:49 PM

For sometime now I've been thinking about getting my gun permit and this just may be the motivator to get that process underway. I like the idea that I can purchase a gun here in Holliston from a respected member of our community.

btw, thanks for your service on our volunteer fire dept.

- kristine | 12/13/10 11:15 PM

I actually have been in and purchased some items from Mr. Heavner. It is a very low profile store and he is very knowledgable. The fact that's it's next to the bank, a park, candy store is irrelevant- You do know you can buy items 24/7 online in the privacy of your own home.

When thing's really go south in this country, you might be glad we have a fire arms dealer in our town. Great job Mr. Heavner.

- Towny | 12/13/10 10:49 PM

if anyone wants to belong to a well regulated militia and purchase a single shot musket, go for it and perhaps you can get a job at Gillette Stadium with the Patriots.

- Lee DeSorgher | 12/13/10 10:47 PM

Nothing says Merry Xmas like a German made semi automatic pistol. . . good for hunting what?

- Fred Spencer | 12/13/10 10:10 PM

I just can't believe the ignorance of some people. First of all, 99.9 percent of Mr. Heavner's customers are people who belong to gun clubs. They shoot skeet and shoot in competitions, not people and animals. Mr. Heavner does not let people "try out" the guns in his store, within "shooting distance" of the park. What are you? Some kind of idiot??? Next time you have a "social" drink just remember that you, statistically, are more dangerous behind the wheel than any person carrying a gun. Before one goes running their mouth off, anonymously, they should know what they're talking about.

- A shooter's wife | 12/13/10 9:31 PM

The best comment I've heard thus far, someone looking at this article and the images above observed, "Gee, from the outside the place is so very Martha Stewart, while on the inside it gets all Sarah Palin."

- Tom Driscoll | 12/13/10 9:19 PM

I think it's great! I was just bemoaning the fact that you have to drive so far just to buy ammo! Good luck--I'll see you soon.

- jmaher | 12/13/10 7:00 PM

I agree with "Former Washington St. resident." I think it's too bad they had to put a gun shop downtown.

- Holliston Resident | 12/13/10 6:55 PM

If anyone is purchasing a handgun from Mr.Heavner, it means they have already gone through some of the strictest background checks in the country.

It means they have completed a firearm safety course, passed a written exam, passed a personal interview and live fire demontsration, passed a State Police and FBI background check and passed a personal reccomendation from the chief of police.

Legal gun owners in the Commonwealth are typically the most law abiding since any infraction can result in the denial of your license.

If only blogging had such stringent requirements....

- Christopher Gadsden | 12/13/10 6:53 PM

To Former Washington Street Resident: Like 508 below said - the liberal's will have their panties in a bunch. The number of people abusing alcohol and doing illegal drugs in their own residences would shock you, and they too are near candy stores, schools and churches. How much you wanna bet that the 1st person through Chesmore's dying from a bullet or substance abuse will be the later.

- Stephen | 12/13/10 3:37 PM

Astonishing. So this is what happens when the construction trade is "a little slow?" Profit from selling guns to kill animals and people - within shooting distance of the kids' playground, the candy store and private residents' homes? Good thing Chesmore funeral home is just next door to deal with any death by gunshot wounds that may result from the construction trade being a little slow...

- Former Washington Street Resident | 12/13/10 1:08 PM

I can't believe we couldn't get a skating rink because "those hockey people" were going to leave dunkin donuts cups all over the place. Who do they think this is going to pull in? Hunters only. Think again.

- Diane | 12/13/10 1:18 AM

Wow, if I remember Holliston correctly, the liberal half is going to have there panties in a bunch over this. Like it matters anyway, if someone from the H wanted to get a gun before this opned, they could have surely gone a few towns over, right? Also, 2nd amendment, blah, blah, blah...quit bi*chin!

@Mortimer: Lol, you sexist ba*tard

I do think it's funny that the gunshop is next to a Bank tho...

- live from the 508 | 12/12/10 9:00 PM

Good luck Mr. Heavner on your new business. I hope it is a success. I'm confident that the pro-constitution Hollistonians outnumber folks who forget the values our country was founded on - freedom and liberty. Although I do not have a current interest is owning a firearm, I fully recognize and support your right to legally sell them.

- Matt V | 12/12/10 5:04 PM

"I find this to be very, very disturbing. I will not patronidge there, nor will I allow my wife to either."

Now THAT'S disturbing!

- James Read | 12/12/10 2:47 PM

I look forward to stopping by. Good luck Mr. Heavner.

Mortimer it is 2010, I don't think were supposed to be telling our spouses what they can and can't do. You sound like a caveman. I too believe the second amendment is our most important.

- A Friend of Ed Mcbains | 12/12/10 12:12 PM

I find this to be very, very disturbing. I will not patronidge there,nor will I allow my my wife to either. I am very upset about this, and I will make my voice heard!

- Mortimor Wellington | 12/12/10 2:28 AM

While I'm not currently a gun owner, I fully support Mr. Heavner's new shop. I think we've all seen alcohol ruin more lives than guns have. Do local businesses that serve/sell alcohol go against the nature of this community too? While I respect your opinion Karen, it's all relative. Remember, Massachusetts has some of the most strict gun laws in this country.

- James Read | 12/12/10 2:23 AM

Karen, read Amendment II of The United States Constitution. After reading that, search violence relating to guns on the internet for a while. What you will find is that communities that responsibly and appropriately have weapons are actually have very less violence. You may surmise that your statement is inaccurate and that in fact the opposite is true.

- Shooter | 12/12/10 2:01 AM

Legal ownership and licensed sales certainly seems well within the law abiding nature of our community. I'll be visiting Mr. Heavener shop... I like the idea that he is pursuing his interests into a working retirement and that he has chosen to do so within the community we share.

- Don MacLeod | 12/11/10 11:19 PM

I find this very disturbing. To have a business in our town that provides weapons that can be used to perpetrate violence seems to go against the nature of this community.

- Karen | 12/11/10 8:15 PM



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