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California: Pleasant Hill Planning Commission to Hold Special Meeting to Reconsider Anti-Gun Zoning Ordinance

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Please attend the Pleasant Hill Planning Commission’s special meeting this Tuesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m.  This commission will be reconsidering an anti-gun ordinance and pro-gun supporters need to voice their opposition to this ordinance.


Last fall, Pleasant Hill Mayor Michael G. Harris introduced a radical revision to the city’s municipal code, adding significant restrictions and regulations on FFLs operating in the city.  The ordinance was an obvious response to a national Brady Campaign crusade against legitimate in-home FFLs.  This group put out the following “call to arms” in 2012 during the lead up to the last round of elections in Pleasant Hill:


It is clear that cities must take responsibility for oversight of gun sales. According to the Contra Costa Times [citation] the following candidates are running for three seats on Pleasant Hill City council: Ken Carlson, Jeremy Cloward, Matthew Rinn, Jim Bonato, David Durant (I), Michael Flake, Tim Flaherty, Jim Bonanto, Jessica Braverman.


They will be asking for your vote.  Join us in asking them where they stand on banning Home Occupation Gun Dealers.


How about it candidates?  Will you work to enact and implement a local ordinance banning Home Occupation Gun Dealers in Pleasant Hill? Please respond to this blog and let the citizens of Pleasant Hill know where you stand.1


The Pleasant Hill City Council responded in late 2013 by passing an ordinance striking at all FFLs operating within city limits, requiring that they obtain a local permit to lawfully sell firearms and ammunition and comply with a batch of strict regulations, including zoning requirements, to operate.  This ordinance, like others popping up throughout California, was crafted to make it extremely costly and impractical to run an FFL in the city.


But a lawsuit challenging this ordinance and the City’s underhanded tactics in passing it, has forced the City Council to reconsider important portions of the ordinance.  The Pleasant Hill Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a special hearing to consider a recommendation to the City Council that it re-enact the same zoning requirements it passed (improperly) last fall through a new ordinance mandating that FFLs operate only in locations sufficiently far from certain establishments.


As we warned when this ordinance was first considered, these zoning requirements often zone the affected businesses out of existence or leave exceedingly few spaces for them to open and operate.  Outrageously, the development of new disqualifying establishments may require existing FFLs to shut down if they do not meet the narrow exceptions provided for in the ordinance.


As a proud supporter of Second Amendment rights everywhere, the Pleasant Hill Planning Commission needs to hear from you.  Stand up and fight down this attempt at regulating FFLs out of business.  It is not enough that the proposal be amended, it must be defeated.  Remember, this is only the most recent in a string of California cities to pass such restrictions.  Let Pleasant Hill know that further restrictions on upstanding business practices will not be tolerated and set an example for other cities considering similar legislation.


Please attend the Planning Commission’s special meeting on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located at 100 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill.  More information can be found on the City’s website.  Or you can contact Senior Planner, Troy Fujimoto, at (925) 671-5224 or tfujimoto@ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us.


You can also assist in the fight to defend gun owners’ rights in California by donating to the NRA Legal Action Project today.  For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the tremendous recent victory in the Peruta case click here.  Second Amendment supporters should be careful about supporting litigation efforts promised by other individuals and groups without access to the necessary funding, relationships, firearm experts and experienced lawyers on the NRA’s national legal team.  The NRA’s team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys and scholars has the resources, skill, and expertise to maximize the potential for victory.


FN1: Contra Costa Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Gun Violence Prevention Starts with the City, Pleasant Hill Patch (Aug. 21, 2012).


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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.