West Sacramento council moves to limit where guns can be sold in city

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 3, 2014 - 9:41 pm

The West Sacramento City Council tentatively approved an ordinance Wednesday night limiting where guns can be sold in the city.

The ordinance passed its first reading 3-0 to move over-the-counter sales of firearms and ammunition out of the city’s central business district and other commercial zones to outlying areas zoned for business parks and industrial uses. Council members Bill Kristoff and Chris Ledesma were absent.

A second reading and adoption is set for Sept. 17.

Local firearms industry advocates in recent weeks said they were troubled by the ordinance, calling it an attempt to restrict access to firearms by zoning them out of certain areas.

But city leaders at Wednesday’s meeting called the ordinance a “common sense” proposal that still allows gun and ammunition sales in large chunks of the city. They also acknowledged the city’s hunting and sportsman history.

“There is a huge percentage of property in West Sacramento that is still eligible for these shops,” said City Councilman Mark Johannessen.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon nodded to the city’s “history of hunting and gun ownership,” said the ordinance “is certainly not a response against guns,” and that the city would need to continue to monitor how the new ordinance was working once passed.

Retail sales of firearms and ammunition in West Sacramento would be considered “heavy retail” under the new ordinance and be a conditional use in zones designated general commercial, business park, limited industrial, light industrial and heavy industrial.

Before the retail gun ordinance, firearms sales were conditionally permitted in the central business district, the city’s waterfront, mixed use and general commercial zones.

A bid by firearms broker and dealer Brent Dawson to relocate his American Tactical Outfitters law enforcement equipment, firearms and ammunition shop from industrial Northport Drive to a storefront on Jefferson Boulevard near Highway 50 more than a year ago moved the city to develop an ordinance.

But a waterfront changing from industrial to urban residential – and police concerns about retail firearms locations in the city’s downtown close to freeways, schools, day-care centers and city offices – led the city to reconsider where guns could be sold.

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

Read more articles by Darrell Smith

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