Los Gatos resident Deborah Weinstein appeared this week before the Town Council to request that new policies be adopted controlling the issuance of business permits for gun retailers.
The Tait Avenue resident said, as a mother of two small children,
Weinstein said she would like the Council to either prohibit gun stores in town or, at the very least, require gun retailers to obtain conditional-use permits that would obligate them to go through community hearings notifying neighborhoods so residents can give input on their operations.
"While I realize it's [Templar Sports] a legal business and technically nothing was required prior to issuing the appropriate permits, I feel as a member of this town, a very family focused community, that we should have had the tools in place to review this type of business prior to its installation," she said.
Such a policy would allow residents to review the location and the appropriateness of such retailers in town, she added.
"I'm saddened that we're now reacting to the Templar Sports instead of being part of the process. I believe that we should have been notified," she said.
"We, Los Gatans, are a small town and we care about the entire community, not just the interests of one segment."
Weinstein wants a member of the Council to initiate and fast-track such legislation to also allow residents the opportunity to review what types of other retail uses the community should be notified about during their business application process and where they will be located.
will serve the hunting, fishing, target sports, and law enforcement communities, said who's acting as an adviser to the shop and its management as they work to start operation in town.
She also requested that Templar Sports, should it desire to expand square footage in the future, or move to a larger location, residents be given the opportunity to review its expansion instead of it being grandfathered in the existing business permit.
Weinstein would like that if that expansion were to occur, Templar Sports would be required to go through a CUP process with community input.
"... One of the main reasons I moved away from Oakland six years ago was specifically to protect my young children from gun violence ... as a parent, I monitor and control my children's exposure to television, Internet, you name it, to reduce their exposure to violent imagery."
In that vein, Weinstein asked the Council to also work on a policy to control the external facade of the Templar Sports location to remain free of any advertising and that the business not be allowed to have sandwich boards or other posters with any gun imagery outside the store.
"I'm urging a Council member to put the proper controls in place so that a store of this nature will not pop up overnight again," she wrote in an email to Los Gatos Patch.
Templar Sports is under the ownership and management of San Jose resident Robert Chang. Its product offerings will include firearms, fishing, hunting, and related outdoor equipment and apparel, Knowles said.
Several town residents contacted this publication in November expressing concern that the new shop would present safety and security issues to the surrounding neighborhood.
They said the shop's location is next to a main thoroughfare for kids, families and teens, across from a ballet studio, 100 yards from Oak Meadow Park and the main path for kids going to and from Fisher Middle School.
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