Residents voice their opinion on gun dealer ordinance

Dan Gonsalves

Supporters and opponents gave their views on a proposal to revise the regulations for firearms and ammunition dealers during the first Pleasant Hill City Council hearing on the proposal on Sept. 30.

The crowd was mostly middle-aged to elderly citizens. As of the break at 9:30 p.m., 29 speakers had expressed their views on the proposed ordinance. Nineteen were for and six against, but speakers who opposed the ordinance got the loudest applause from the audience.

The proposed ordinance would make it difficult to sell guns and ammunition from a house. Requirements include a 100-foot buffer zone between the applicant’s property line and a neighbor’s front door; 1,000 feet to any school or large day care center, and 500 feet to any public park.

Some opponents suggested the ordinance would itself be illegal.

The attorney for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Robert C. Wright of San Diego, sent a letter saying, “comprehensive federal and state regulations of firearm sales already exists, and the incidence of accidental and crime related shootings in California has declined sharply. Enactment of the Ordinance will lead to legal challenge. Taxpayer money should not be spent defending the indefensible.”

The attorney representing the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistols Association, Anna M. Barvir of Michel & Associates in Long Beach, wrote, “Our clients understand the need to fight the criminal misuse of firearms and gun violence, and they have a variety of effective programs available to the city upon request. These programs do not flout constitutional guarantees or overburden responsible business owners. We hope the City considers such programs before pursuing this restrictive licensing scheme.”

Of 25 emails that City Hall had received, most have supported the ordinance.

An email from Melinda Mendelson of Napa says she is concerned for her grandchildren living on the Lafayette/Pleasant Hill border. She supports the passing of this ordinance.

Kathy Repp of Pleasant Hill also wrote, “I SUPPORT the regulation of guns and ammunition in Pleasant Hill!”

The City Council is scheduled to vote on this ordinance at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, in the council chambers, second floor, City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.