Bay area gun owners have put another one in the win column.
In Pleasant Hill, CA, the Brady Campaign and the Legal Community Against Violence tried, and failed, to get the city’s planning commission to pass a new ordinance requiring a “use permit” to open a gun store. This proposed rule would have treated gun stores like porn shops…
The Planning Commission on Tuesday rejected a proposal to require a use permit for new gun stores, delighting gun owners, open carry advocates and Second Amendment watchdogs from across the Bay Area who packed the council chamber.
Mayor David Durant and Councilman Michael Harris, as members of the Public Health and Safety Subcommittee, originally proposed applying to gun stores the same restrictions on location that govern adult businesses. The council members dropped that idea after gun owners objected and pushed for the use permit.
Opponents of the ban, such as Pleasant Hill resident Wendy Lack, called the proposal unnecessary: “This appears to be a solution in search of a problem,” said Lack, adding that proposed rule would “set a precedent of making policy based on political considerations rather than real planning needs.”
Attending the meeting was James Grant of the Golden Gate NRA Members’ Council. James tells us that roughly 150 people attended the meeting of the planning commission and that the vast majority were opposed to the new rule. Only two local Brady Campaign members and an LCAV lawyer spoke in favor of the rule. Over 40 spoke in opposition; half of whom were local residents and business owners. Some attendees asked “Why is an intrinsically safe activity such as gun selling being treated as a public safety matter?” Others asked about potential losses to the city, both in terms of sales and payroll taxes and in terms of legal risk. Furthermore, the city attorney stated that existing gun stores are not a problem. They do not generate extra police calls nor have there been any violent incidents at these stores. The gun shops’ neighbors and landlords also testified against the rule calling the gun stores good neighbors and good tenants.
Too many gun owners act as though proposals such as this one are a fait accompli; that opposing them is a waste of breath. That simply isn’t true. Politicians don’t like walking into a room full of activists who oppose something said politician is trying to do. Because of that, we can beat back attempts such as this one just by showing up. You can help preserve our rights by getting involved. Contact your local NRA Members’ Council and learn what you can do to help.