Ohio Couple Sues to Keep Home Gun Dealership

(CN) – A Cleveland-area couple is fighting in court to keep their home-based gun business from being deemed a zoning violation.

Paul and Judith Brobst sued the City of Lyndhurst on Thursday in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, seeking a declaration that they can run their Gun Galaxy business out of their home.

The Brobsts claim that their business is a legal “home occupation,” as described in the zoning ordinance for a single-family residence.

According to the lawsuit, Paul Brobst was working for General Motors in 2005 when he informed Lyndhurst officials that he planned on operating a gun business out of his home.

Brobst, who has lived in Lyndhurst for 21 years, claimed that he regularly informs the chief of police about his sales. He retired from GM in 2015.

However, he alleges he received a letter from Paul T. Murphy, Lyndhurst’s law director, in June, saying the Brobsts can’t continue running Gun Galaxy from their home.

“It has come to my attention that you are permitting a commercial establishment to exist on residential property you own in Lyndhurst, Ohio,” Murphy reportedly wrote. “Continued operation of this commercial enterprise in a single family residential zone is in violation of the city’s ordinances, and will require the city to take action against you and the proprietor of the commercial enterprise.”

Five months of negotiations proved fruitless, Thursday’s complaint states, and the city reiterated its claim that the Brobsts were violating the zoning laws.

According to the Brobsts, the city suggested that they seek a zoning change, ask for a variance or close the business.

In addition to a declaratory judgment, the couple is seeking an injunction preventing Lyndhurst from taking action against them.

Peter Turner of the Cleveland law firm of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis is representing the Brobsts.

Lyndhurst’s mayor did not immediately respond Friday to an emailed request for comment.

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