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Keep Pleasant Hill "Pleasant" -- and Safe from Gun Violence!

Pleasant Hill residents have a right to know when dangerous products (firearms and ammunition) are being sold in their neighborhoods!

--Please contact the City at 671-5267 and ask to be notified of an upcoming public hearing on this issue. Make your voice heard: Keep Pleasant Hill neighborhoods safe from gun violence!

As Pleasant Hill residents, and members of the Contra Costa Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, we were alarmed to read in the May/June Pleasant Hill Outlook Newsletter that the City had approved a home occupation business permit for LNC Arms (Retail Sales of Firearms) on Scottsdale Rd. in the Tres Lagos North development. No one in Pleasant Hill was informed of this -- as there was no public hearing. Neither the neighbors nor the Tres Lagos Homeowners Association were told that firearms and ammunition were going to be sold out of one of their condominiums.

Firearms and ammunition are two dangerous products. Sales of firearms and ammunition belong in a commercial business zone with proper security and oversight. This is not an appropriate activity for a residential neighborhood where the storage and/or mail deliveries of firearms and ammunition creates a public safety risk for children who may play at the house and the surrounding neighbors.

There are some who are arguing that this is a Second Amendment issue because it has to do with guns. It is not! This is a zoning issue. There are many activities that are not appropriate for home businesses. This is one of them -- selling guns and bullets is not like teaching piano lessons. These sales belong in a commercially zoned area where there is proper security and oversight.

It is essential that firearms and ammunition sales be regulated to ensure the safety of persons in their homes. Selling guns and ammunition from the home (whether over the Internet or not) creates a safety risk for the residents in the neighborhood including; the safety of residents in close proximity to the home gun dealer, the negative influence on children in the neighborhood, the possible increase in violence and/or criminals in the neighborhood, trafficked firearms, and the storage of live ammunition.

You can read about this issue in the Contra Costa Times here: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20612246/online-gun-business-based-pleasant-hill-condo-raises?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com

http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20680812/after-public-outcry-pleasant-hill-review-home-gun?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com

(Ed. note: you can also read about the issue in Pleasant Hill Patch, and ).

The City of Pinole recently banned home occupation gun dealers after Pinole Police Chief John Hardester outlined sthe following specific public health, safety and welfare concerns -- and residents showed up at a public hearing to overwhelmingly support the ban:

  • Safety of residents in close proximity to such home occupation businesses
  • Possible increase in violence/criminal activity in City residential neighborhoods
  • Lack of sufficient federal or state inspections

Over a dozen Pleasant Hill residents protested the Home Gun Dealer and then attended the May 21st City Council Meeting. You can watch the public comments on video here starting at 00:36:20 - 01:21:24:  http://pleasanthill.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=782

After public comment the council voted (4-1, Weir voted against) to agendize a study session in the near future. Please contact the City and ask to be notified of this public hearing and make your voice heard. There have been two shootings in Pleasant Hill in the last year. We don't need gun dealers operating out of residential neighborhoods. Keep Pleasant Hill neighborhoods safe from gun violence!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Patricia Derickson June 02, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I am very much against allowing the sale of guns and ammunition from private dwellings. This is a zoning issue not a Second Ammendment issue. And it is a public safety issue.
WENDY LACK June 02, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Pleasant Hill home occupation permits specifically prohibit retail sales at the premises. Operation of an internet sales business -- with all merchandise transactions completed elsewhere, consistent with state and federal requirements -- poses no threat to a residential neighborhood. In fact, given that this business owner is subject to a federal background check and ongoing ATF and state monitoring, a valid argument can be made that this business is actually MORE safe than other home businesses! Ideological beliefs and gut feelings do not constitute a valid basis or rationale for zoning regulation. This business poses no community safety threat that can be factually substantiated or quantified. Accordingly, there is no basis for new zoning regulation. This witch hunt initiated by the Brady Campaign and elected officials is appalling. Making new laws based on an angry-mob-mentality is dangerous.
Georgette Armstrong June 02, 2012 at 05:12 PM
What's happening to our charming little town? The residents of Pleasant Hill need to make their voices heard and protest the selling of arms and ammunition from private homes. This isn't about the Second Amendment, it's about the safety of our neighborhoods. Allowing these businesses to operate and proliferate in our neighborhoods will surely compromise the safety of the people of Pleasant Hill. Let's follow the lead of other Bay Area cities and towns and keep these businesses in areas that are zoned for such.
WENDY LACK June 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
@ Georgette Armstrong: Do you have any metrics or factual evidence to substantiate your assertion? There are no firearms or ammunition sold on the premises. On what basis do you assert that an internet business poses an actual safety problem? Regulating an imaginary threat is pure folly. Just because other cities adopt nonsensical laws doesn't mean it's proper for Pleasant Hill to do so. Feelings and emotions cannot become the basis for zoning regulation decisions, or else there can be no limit to government power to regulate human activity . . . and then we will live in tyranny instead of freedom.
WENDY LACK June 02, 2012 at 06:44 PM
@ Patricia Derickson: You are misinformed. Pleasant Hill's current zoning regulations do NOT permit "the sale of guns and ammunition from private dwellings." The City's laws for home businesses specifically prohibit retail sales at the premises. An internet sales business poses no public safety threat.
Karen Cohen June 02, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Two shootings in a year in a small town like Pleasant Hill, in addition to the thousands of deaths by gun violence across the country annually, should be a wakeup call for the City Council. And now, added to other concerns of homeowners and home buyers is the fact that their neighbor could be stockpiling guns for a business. (The gun dealer whose home business occupation permit the City approved will be allowed to store an unlimited number of firearms in his home.) Pleasant Hill, follow Pinole’s lead and ban the sale of firearms and ammunition from home businesses.
John carter June 02, 2012 at 09:37 PM
If anything, this may make the neighborhood safer. A business person who knows and understands all the safety and regulations related to gun ownership. I wish he was my neighbor. I don't see how this will increase criminals, since it has to be internet sales and they don't buy guns legally anyways.
Ken Richard June 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I am one who believes that as a first step, the United States should move expeditiously to disarm the civilian population, other than police and security officers, of all handguns, pistols, and revolvers...No one should have the right to anonymous ownership or use of a gun." Just what we need, more guns sold in our neighborhood.
WENDY LACK June 02, 2012 at 11:20 PM
@ Karen Cohen: You have used a faulty premise. There is no causal link between crime in Pleasant Hill and the City’s zoning regulations that permit retail firearms sales in commercial areas of the City and internet-based sales in residential areas pursuant to a home occupancy permit. The only rational response to your statement is: So, what? Your argument is illogical, unpersuasive. Randomly pointing to crimes -- committed by individuals from outside of the area, as memory serves – does not offer a rational basis for amending the City’s zoning regulations. BTW, City crime stats are available on the PHPD website at: http://www.ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=580 The facts in the City of Pinole’s case are completely different. Research the facts as I have and you will understand that the circumstances in Pinole do not apply to the City of Pleasant Hill. Currently unknown numbers of firearms are lawfully owned by Pleasant Hill residents and stored in PH's residential neighborhoods. And yet, no crime spree! Depriving a small home-based business owner of his rights to use his property for lawful purposes has no causal effect on crime. Most Americans consider having a responsible gun owner as a neighbor to be a community asset – and commonplace. Only in a limited number of urban and suburban areas are lawful gun owners ostracized, demonized and subjected to disparate treatment – such as the witch hunt currently being conducted by people like you.
WENDY LACK June 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM
@John Carter: You’re right. Criminals don’t purchase guns legally, nor use them for lawful purposes. Hence the name: “criminals.”
WENDY LACK June 02, 2012 at 11:40 PM
@ Ken Richard: I respectfully suggest that you relocate to China, North Korea, Cuba or one of the majority of garden-spot countries in the world that prohibit private ownership of firearms. Please don’t try to impose your ideological views on fellow citizens who value liberty and cherish the individual freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. A “first step” towards tyranny is not a step that a majority of Americans wish to take. I suggest you “live and let live” -- since a lawful home-based business poses no harm or inconvenience to you.
Bill Sayre June 03, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Wow, Ken... "police and security officers" only, eh? Let's look at this rationally and intelligently. (Difficult, I would imagine for someone like you, but just try it.) First of all, security officers are NOT law enforcement, and therefor won't protect you. It's been my experience that instead of getting involved, they stay back and wait for police to show up. Matter of fact, there's a story making the rounds in the news, where a security guard watches a woman get robbed in front to him, in broad daylight, and he does nothing. And the whole thing was caught on video. More importantly, police officers? Hate to break it to you, but police officers have NO legal obligation to protect you. That's right. Try Googling "Warren Versus D.C.", which was a U.S. Supreme Court case. In a nutshell, the court ruled that the police have no obligation to protect citizens. I'm sure you've heard the expression "When seconds count, the police are minutes away". Add to that, they don't even have to show up. So remember that when your unarmed butt is on the phone at 2 A.M. with 911 when someone is trying to bust down your door to commit a home invasion robbery. And I certainly hope you're not married or have children, since it would suck for them in that situation to have to leave their lives in the hands of someone who is too cowardly to protect them himself.
Bill Sayre June 03, 2012 at 08:04 AM
I second what Wendy said. Oh, and Ken? Like it or not, the Constitution is still the supreme law of the land, including the Second Amendment. So the U.S. government disarming the people? Not on our watch. They'll go first.
Steve June 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM
If you want to see real crime look at Mexico. Thier citizens are not "allowed" to protect themselves because they have no second ammendment rights. So now only the criminals have guns and they are itimidating everyone including the police, and dumping bodies in the streets. More guns = less crime. Look at the facts and think just a bit and you will figure it out.

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