Residents ask city to stop gun store from opening

Turner's Outdoorsman's plans to open a store in San Carlos were stopped by fierce public opposition and a City Council moratorium.

Above is from the website of Turner’s Outdoorsman.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The San Carlos City Council will look into banning more gun shops from opening up in the city after a handful of residents requested a moratorium on such stores.

At the council’s Monday meeting, 13 residents went to the microphone to say they were concerned with a proposal for a gun shop that’s poised to open at 1123 Industrial Road, not far from REI and Highway 101.

“San Carlos is a family town, and adding a second gun store is worth a discussion,” said San Carlos resident C. Erin Friday.

The city already has one gun shop, Imbert and Smithers, at 1144 El Camino Real, about a half-mile away from the proposed new gun shop, Turner’s Outdoorsman, a chain store with mostly Southern California locations. Some residents said they were concerned the new gun store would be near the San Carlos School District’s offices, at 1200 Industrial Road, and near business where children have dance lessons and swimming lessons.

“I am surprised that was not discussed publicly before a license was given to this store, near where my kids take swim lessons and go to birthday parties,” said Natasha Melly.

Residents mention mass shootings

After residents evoked images of the mass shootings at Las Vegas, Sandy Hook and Columbine, Mayor Bob Grassilli announced that the council would discuss a moratorium Nov. 13.

Grassilli said yesterday that Turner Outdoorsman had been going through the typical avenues a store would go through at the city in order to open, and hadn’t been brought to the council’s attention until some residents began writing emails to the council on Friday.

Grassilli said the council will have a discussion to hear from all sides, including the owners of the store.

“This should be brought to the community like how the dispensaries were,” resident Jackie Yan said at Monday’s meeting, referring to the public hearings regarding marijuana stores.

The case for law-abiding stores

While residents are asking for a moratorium, Greg David, owner of Eddy’s Shooting Sports in Mountain View, said as long as the business is lawful, it ought to be able to set up shop.

“There is no reason a municipality should deny a lawful business from operating in their jurisdiction if they comply with all legal requirements such as zoning and other state and federal laws.” David said in an email to the Post.

An employee at Imbert and Smithers who answered the phone yesterday said she had not heard anything about the proposed moratorium and had no comment on the issue.

Moratoriums elsewhere

It is also not clear whether a moratorium on gun shops would hold up in court. In 2014, a judge shot down a Chicago ordinance banning gun sales in the city. Earlier this month, an Alameda County ordinance banning gun stores within 500 feet of schools, liquor stores and residential neighborhoods was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Post reached out to the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which is the NRA’s California arm, for its opinion, but did not hear back.