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Richmond Hill Council approves petition by proposed sporting-goods, gun store
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Richmond Hill Fire Department Lt. Jordan Johnson has his gold badge pinned on his uniform by his wife, Sarah, during the City Council meeting Tuesday at City Hall. - photo by Brent Zell

The Richmond Hill City Council signed off Tuesday on a request by a proposed sporting-goods store that would also have gun sales and safety training.

The council voted to approve a text amendment to a zoning ordinance to add “sporting goods store with gun sales” as a conditional use in an interchange commercial district. The proposed store’s address is 3766 Highway 17, suite 103, near Food Lion.

The petition was filed by Mike Pinault of Pinault Defensive Solutions. In addition to sporting goods and guns being sold, the store would provide gun-safety courses for first-time gun handlers as well as self-defense courses.

A Facebook page linked to the Pinault Defensive Solution website had a post Tuesday stating that the store will be open in March.

In the minutes from the Jan. 29 meeting of the city’s Planning Commission, Pinault said the proposed store would have classroom training with plastic BB guns used at times and no live fire.

During discussion at the commission meeting, Planning Commissioner Brad Brookshire asked if there is any similar business in Richmond Hill. Pinault said Richmond Hill Marine sells a few similar items, while Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Assistant Director Randy Dykes said there are some home-based guns-sales businesses in the area.

The company’s website,, says that Pinault — whose career includes working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Richmond Hill and Savannah police departments — is a National Rifle Association-certified instructor in pistol, rifle, shotgun and home-firearm safety.

Pinault teaches classes at his range in Savannah and does one-on-one training in clients’ homes. His website also advertises a small inventory of immediately available guns and related items.

Also Tuesday, two members of the Richmond Hill Fire Department received new badges signifying promotions.

Jordan Johnson and Sean Curry received their gold badges as they were promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. Each firefighter traded in his silver badge for a gold badge during a pinning ceremony.

“This is a milestone in any firefighter’s career, and well-deserved,” RHFD Chief Ralph Catlett said.

Council also approved capital-improvement requests for the Richmond Hill City Center for the first two quarters of 2016, with expenditures not to exceed $85,000. The requests included exterior painting and upgrades to the center’s audiovisual system during the first quarter.

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