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The City of Pleasant Hill, Calif. is a suburb of San Francisco.  There has been controversy about selling guns in residential areas there for some time.   In November the city counsel passed a comprehensive ordinance regulating gun stores which is now chapter 9.35 of the code of that city.  It required that new stores could not be located in certain places and that employees must pass a criminal background check among other provisions.  Another provision required that the store must purchase insurance. 

The NRA was incensed and rallied opposition prior to the passage but the ordinance went through anyway.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry.  They have filed a lawsuit against Pleasant Hill and its city counsel to overturn this ordinance.  The 106 page complaint is a mishmash of generalizations.  The gun defending organizations file lots of this kind of lawsuit and have plenty of boiler plate to make them long and exhausting to read.  They rarely win in court but many smaller governments resist passing such laws because of the expense of litigation.  This suit shows its intention to intimidate by the fact that it lists 30 John Does as co-defendants with no definition of their role in the matter.  These placeholders to drag others into the litigation will make anyone who is considering enforcement of the ordinance think carefully. 

Fortunately, Pleasant Hill is located near The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and that commendable organization is offering to assist the city.  As reported in the Contra Costa Times:

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a national advocacy group, arranged for San Francisco law firm Keker & Van Nest to defend the lawsuit pro bono for the city. Coincidentally, Laura Cutilletta, a staff attorney with the Law Center, and Laurie Mims, the attorney handling the case, both live in Pleasant Hill.

This case will be fought out over some time and the gun industry’s goal of using up the resources of advocates for guns safety will be achieved to some degree. I do believe that ultimately the city ordinance will stand.  I’m not a lawyer or an expert on such law, but my BS detector is set off by the complaint.  If the courts buy that stuff, shame on them.  It would be especially helpful in my view to have a serious insurance requirement in place as an example of successfully demanding responsibility from gun businesses.

Originally posted to guninsuranceblog on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 07:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Firearms Law and Policy, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    Mandatory Gun Insurance would provide for victims, encourage safety and not be an excessive burden on gun owners. How to do it at Gun Insurance Blog. I also make posts at Huffington as Tom Harvey.

    by guninsuranceblog on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 07:29:36 AM PST

  •  This is a good start... (6+ / 0-)

    Most of this is just common sense stuff, why is there a problem?

    Also, I believe it is the Contra Costa times not the

    As reported in the Costa Costa Times

    You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

    by dawgflyer13 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 07:41:02 AM PST

    •  Would you like to explain (4+ / 0-)

      how TRAP laws in Virginia, specifically designed to put abortion providers out of business, with NO grandfathering, are equal to this?

      Existing firearms dealers are exempt from the new location restrictions, but they must submit employees' background information to the Pleasant Hill police. The sole dealer in the city with a home occupancy permit to sell guns from his residence can continue operating, but no new permits for residential sales will be granted.....

      Durant made several changes to the ordinance Monday, including reducing from 60 to 45 days the period the police chief has to grant or deny a permit application; and clarifying that existing gun stores can expand in the same location without running afoul of the restrictions in the ordinance.

      Because, apparently, requiring your employees to go through a background check to sell a firearm, is SOOOO onerous.

      You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

      by dawgflyer13 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:00:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If that was all they did (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, IndieGuy

        You might have a point. However, they also put a bunch of zoning restrictions that make no practical sense in place in an obvious attempt to prevent new gun stores from opening.

        •  Seriously? Zoning restrictions?? (3+ / 0-)

          Because there are zero, and I mean zero, places in Pleasant Hill, California that aren't

          a. Within 150 feet from any residence, when measured from the property line of any residence to the door of the firearms sales business that is nearest to that same property line of the residence;

          b. Within 1,000 feet of the exterior limits of any building premises occupied, as of the effective date of this chapter, by a day care that is designated as a large family day care, PHMC § 18.15.020, or general day care, PHMC § 18.15.030, when measured from the closest points on the exterior property lines or area boundaries of the parcels or properties involved, except that when an applicant occupies one unit of a multi-unit structure located on a single parcel, distances shall be measured from the exterior boundaries of the unit so occupied;

          c. Within 1,000 feet of the property line of any elementary school, junior high school or high school, whether public or private, in existence as of the effective date of this chapter, when measured from the closest points on the exterior property lines or area boundaries of the parcels or properties involved, except that when an applicant occupies one unit of a multi-unit structure located on a single parcel, distances shall be measured from the exterior boundaries of the unit so occupied;

          d. Within 500 feet of the property line of a public park, the exterior limits of another entity engaged in the business of firearms sales, a massage establishment or an adult entertainment establishment, when measured from the closest points on the exterior property lines or area boundaries of the parcels or properties involved, except that when an applicant occupies one unit of a multi-unit structure located on a single parcel, distances shall be measured from the exterior boundaries of the unit so occupied.

          God, the horror... I can't sell firearms in .0005% of this city!

          You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

          by dawgflyer13 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:23:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Residential FFLs are actually quite (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrankRose

            numerous in other parts of the country. It's significantly easier for a small FFL to run their business out of their home. The two I use for regular transfers are residential FFLs (though I have to go to a commercial FFL for the NFA stuff).

            So what they're saying is: no more residential FFL dealers.

            •  And also most likely (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas, FrankRose

              Commercial business FFLS will have to be located in some BFE industrial park on the outskirts of town as pretty much anywhere else is going to bump up against one of these regulations. It's the same stuff towns try to do in order to keep strip clubs, adult bookstores, and other "unsavory" businesses out of sight. Though in this case they'll have to make sure and stay away from the adult book store as well.

            •  And the City of Pleasant Hill (3+ / 0-)

              doesn't want people selling firearms out of their home.

              It's not unreasonable, it doesn't place any undue burden on anyone.  It just means you have to go to a store to purchase your weapon, and it sounds like there are quite a few of them.

              Also, the guy that already has a residential FFL, gets to keep it.

              You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

              by dawgflyer13 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:40:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It places an undue burden on those who would (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FrankRose

                become an FFL. Instead of running one from inside their own home (and adhering to all federal regulations, mind you), they'd have to get commercial property, commute, etc. Running a business from your house, especially one where all firearms sold require a federal background check, isn't an issue.  There is no pollution, no toxic waste, no industrial reason to force them to go to commercial property outside of residential areas.

      •  Don't feed the troll. (2+ / 0-)

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:15:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republished to Firearms Law and Policy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i saw an old tree today

    Thank you for reporting on this development.

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:50:50 AM PST

  •  The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence isn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, IndieGuy

    an "advocate for gun safety".
    They are an advocate for gun control-S: (n) gun control (efforts to regulate or control sales of guns)-Princeton

    'Gun safety' on the other hand "is a collection of rules and recommendations that can be applied when possessing, storing, or handling firearms."-Wiki

    The NRA would be more accurately called 'advocates for gun safety' as they advocate gun safety with gun safety courses.

    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

    by FrankRose on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 11:44:07 AM PST

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