WOODS CROSS — Several in the packed room applauded Tuesday as, one by one, a group of Ty Murri's neighbors approached the Woods Cross Planning Commission with concerns about Murri's desire to sell guns from his home.
But the applause was louder as the commission voted unanimously to grant Murri a permit to run his at-home business, Ty's Guns, which he hopes will provide some needed supplemental income.
"I'm going to do my best," he said, addressing his neighbors' safety concerns. "I've got a big gun safe and a home alarm. That should be enough. And if there's anything else I can do, I'll do it."
Murri politely answered all of the commission's questions, including the capacity of his gun safe (it holds 64 firearms), the kinds of guns he will sell and whether he was amenable to the conditions stipulated in the permit.
Murri said he was in agreement and doesn't foresee any adverse impact to his neighbors.
"Honestly, after all this blows over, I don't think that the neighbors will even realize what I'll be doing with that home business," he said.
Otherwise, Murri remained shyly at the back of the room. He declined any further comment after the parade of supporters and naysayers spoke their piece, and told reporters his reasons for wanting a firearms business were private.
Planning Commission Chairman Leo Beecher departed from protocol in opening the public comment session prior to the vote, saying he wanted to allow the large crowd an opportunity to voice concerns or ask questions.
Beecher explained to those in attendance that if they had any concerns about Tuesday's decision, they could appeal to the City Council.
Paul Merrill, who lives on the next block near Murri, was the first to approach the group. Merrill said his son had successfully operated a similar business in Bountiful, and he was "thoroughly OK" with the city granting Murri's permit.
"I would be willing to venture that most of his guns will be safer than almost all the neighbors around," Merrill said. "And I think some people would be really surprised at the number of gun owners that are in that neighborhood.
"As far as I'm concerned, the more guns, the better. I think we'll be safer," he said, interrupted by loud applause.
Kent Smith disagreed.
"He can't tell me what kind of people are going to come to his house, and he can't tell me what their character is, and he can't tell me whether they're showing him some kind of phony ID," Smith said, voicing his opposition despite being a gun owner and avid hunter.
"It doesn't bother me that he's trying to make a living. I understand that," he said. "But it should be run out of business, not your home."
City administrator Gary Ursek said Murri's permit is the fifth of its kind granted by the city in the past 10 years, though two have gone out of business. The most recent permits were issued in April and May, and Ursek said he has never received any complaints from neighbors.
Before Murri can open his business, he must be granted a federal firearms license, which requires an extensive application and a series of background checks. Murri submitted his application about a month ago and said he hopes to hear back in the next few weeks.