Gunther Guns is a retail firearm store in the City of Carlsbad, California. The store is located in a warehouse, in an area of town zoned for industrial use. The owners of Gunther Guns wanted to add an indoor shooting range to their facility so their customers could practice their shooting skills and test-fire the firearms they were interested in purchasing. The plan was met with enthusiastic support from the local shooting community. So the owners submitted their plans, along with an application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), to the Carlsbad City Planning Department. But the Planning Department told them that a shooting range was not a conditionally-permitted use under the Carlsbad Municipal Code. Although the code allowed a category for “recreational” facilities, the City Planners erroneously determined that shooting was not a “recreational” use, so a range didn’t qualify!
The owners appealed to the City Council, but the City Council, by a 4 to 1 vote, upheld the Planning Commission’s determination to deny Gunther Guns the CUP for an indoor shooting range because it wasn’t a recreational use.
To help the Gunthers out, attorneys for the NRA and CRPA requested documents under the Public Records Act seeking materials that formed the basis for the decisions that shooting was not recreational. They also sent correspondence to council members supporting Gunthers Guns’ CUP application, and requested a reconsideration of the City’s determination that shooting was not a “recreational” use.
In response to those efforts, on January 12, 2016, the Carlsbad City Council passed an amendment to its municipal code that now allows indoor shooting ranges in specifically zoned locations.
This new amended ordinance will allow Gunther Guns to open its desired shooting range at its retail sales location!
Great win for the Second Amendment community!
It seems to already be paying off. The city council for the nearby city of San Marcos has indicated that it intends to adopt a similar ordinance to Carlsbad’s, opening the way for another new shooting range in the area.
Help Us Help You
Shooting ranges are under attack from multiple threats across the country, but particularly in California. The gun ban lobby is trying hard to shut ranges down. Opening a new one requires monumental effort. Ranges are where people are introduced to firearms, practice firearm proficiency, and support the Second Amendment (that is itself under assault). That’s why the NRA and CRPA have dedicated so much effort to protecting, improving, and developing shooting ranges.
Please help us fight for your right to choose to own a gun for sport, or to defend yourself and your family. The NRA and CRPA work together in California to fight for you, in cities and counties across the state, in regulatory agencies, and in the courts. Even with the generous rates that our team of civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, experts and consultants grant us, these ongoing efforts are still expensive. You can support our pro-Second Amendment efforts by donating to the NRA. All donations will be spent to specifically benefit California gun owners.