The owner of a new gun store setting up shop at 611 University Ave. in downtown Los Gatos is Templar Sports. The store will officially open doors to customers at the end of the month.
The 2,400-square-foot location 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.
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.
The store's official opening announcement came through Knowles to Los Gatos Patch in the wake of some community outcry due to concerns that the shop will present safety and security issues to the surrounding neighborhood.
A resident who lives near University Avenue and Roberts Road, who asked to remain anonymous, said she believed the business had held a soft opening for gun enthusiasts to check out the weapons, "which aren't sports-type of firearms, but assault rifles.”
Knowles, however, clarified that the shop has not yet opened and no soft opening or any other event has occurred.
Another citizen, who lives near the shop's location, and who also declined to be identified, said he had been on his morning walk in mid-November and saw signs plastered across the windows promoting the sale of the weapons with a sign that read: “Coming Soon Guns, Guns and More Guns.” He said there were smaller placards advertising bail bonds and check cashing.
Knowles said the posting of the signs was an act of criminal vandalism against Templar Sports that occurred the morning of Nov. 17, and was not posted by the business.
He also said the signs were placed on a neighboring business at 605 University University Ave. and not at 611 University Ave., the location of Templar Sports. "The signs were hand written and drawn on paper. The owners of the affected business are supportive of Templar Sports, but upset that their building was vandalized," he explained.
"Templar Sports will not be a bail bonds, massage, or check-cashing business and these signs were malicious, false, and misleading characterizations," Knowles said.
and respects the reader's First Amendment right to do so; however, Templar Sports condemns the acts of vandalism perpetuated on its neighboring business, said Knowles. "Templar Sports is happy to meet with any member of the community who has questions concerning the nature of their business."
The posting of the vandalism signs made the Town of Los Gatos Planning Department contact Templar Sports about needing permits to post them; the business replied promptly that the signs were an act of vandalism. The Town of Los Gatos Planning Department immediately rescinded the permit request and the crime was reported to town authorities, according to Knowles.
Templar Sports will sell California hunting and fishing licenses as well as books, videos, and other items that have educational value.
It will also offer firearm safety clinics for men, women, and families, as well as clinics covering exotic fishing destinations, equipment selection, and many other topics of interest.
"The entire Templar Sports staff is made up of highly experienced professionals," Knowles said. "The management and ownership team includes an active law enforcement officer with 16 years of experience who also has 24 years of service with the Air National Guard, and a business executive with over 24 years of management, sales, and loss prevention experience with some of the most successful sporting goods companies in North America."
Sales and repair service staff have more than 75 years of combined experience in firearm sales, repair, and safe handling practices, Knowles added.
Senior repair and service staff have worked closely with the California Department of Fish and Game, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the Santa Clara County Crime Lab, the California Criminalistics Institute, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
All sales and service staff hold California Department of Justice Certificates of Eligibility and are certified as handgun safety instructors per California Department of Justice standards, Knowles noted.
Templar Sports staff have also participated in the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” training program to identify and prevent illegal firearm purchases, he said.
The business also has all the required federal, state, and local permits and licenses to operate. All persons under 18 years of age must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian in the shop, he said.
And Templar Sports will be supporting local community organizations that include the Wounded Warrior Project, the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation, and local scouting troops according to Knowles.
The business' website is under construction, but those with further questions can email Knowles, or Chang at email@example.com.
Town of Los Gatos Issues Statement on New Gun Store