VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - A proposed pawn shop just yards away from the middle and high schools have people in the small Vancleave community talking.
The vacant building was once a consignment store and a marine mechanic shop, but it could soon be a pawn shop that would potentially sell firearms. It might not have been a big deal, except for the fact that it's just in front of Vancleave Middle School.
"I don't think anything needs to be near a school that will sell firearms. I'm not against firearms, but I'm against selling them that close to a school, a middle school," said Vancleave resident Elizabeth Tillson.
Because the property is on 16th section land, the school board must vote to allow the previous owners to transfer the lease to the prospective owners, but Superintendent Barry Amacker says they're still waiting for the business to meet their legal requirements.
"I think the person that's trying to get the lease is going through the process of the zoning requirements that are made that have to be completed. We haven't received all the information we need to be able to bring it up for a vote," said Amacker.
To Amacker's knowledge, his office hasn't received any phone calls from concerned parents about the possibility of the pawn shop opening, but that doesn't mean residents don't have an opinion.
"Drawing in the wrong kind of crowd and you know, just the guns being that close to the school," said Vancleave resident Ricky Rader.
Even though the proposed location of the new pawn shop is just yards away from the middle school, some residents say what about the existing pawn shop that's right by the lower elementary school.
"Like I said there's already one a mile away, so I don't see what the difference would be from one a mile away or one 50 feet away," said Vancleave resident Bobby Tinson.
The item was on Monday night's school board meeting agenda, but it was tabled until the next meeting.