One of our members “T” attended the May 10th “Community Discussion: Firearms Regulations in San Carlos” meeting at Carlmont High School in San Carlos. Here is their detailed report for you.
May 10, 2018 San Carlos Firearm Discussion at Carlmont HS
This meeting was set up primarily as a forum discussion on City zoning regulations as they relate to firearm retail sales and public health and safety (forum members: two SC city atty’s; SC community develp director; SM Sheriff) and was fully recorded and videotaped. The initial formal presentation lasted about 15 min, followed by public comments (there did not appear to be any time limit placed on verbal comments…most only took 2-3 minutes), followed by the reading of submitted questions (I think the questions should have been addressed first…).
The Community Director offered as an example of a “conditional use permit” a bar with loud music…the use permit would limit how late music could be played. The SC city atty (G. Rubens) brought up the issue of pre-emption in reference that there was only “so much” that a local government could do with firearms regulation. Written comment cards, public comment cards, and questions to be addressed by the forum were all provided. I have not yet heard back from SC city clerk as to whether or not the comments/video will be publically available.
Community attendance was ~45-50 persons and the meeting ended at ~7:35 PM. At least 8 (!!) SM Sheriff’s deputies were present (posted both inside and outside)…this was far more than I’ve seen at the recent packed city council meetings. There was neither pro- nor anti-2A documentation visible at the entrance. The crowd was generally respectful (much more-so that at the past two council meetings), though minor clapping did occur during several of the anti-2A comments, and specifically after one child (10-12 yr old) spoke in favor of the moratorium.
Of particular note: there has still not been any clear statement by the City as to what the PROBLEM is that further regulation might address. I asked this question, and Greg Rubens stated that the problem the moratorium was addressing was “urgency” to act in response to public outrage against a new firearms retailer. I asked again, and he said “yes…the problem was urgency.”
Key items to address/highlight/watch for at the May 17 meeting:
1) Push the forum HARD on what the SPECIFIC PROBLEM is that needs to be addressed by any future zoning change to firearms sales.
2) The anti crowd seems grudgingly acceptable of “hunting” firearm use…they need to be educated that the 2nd Amend has nothing to do with hunting.
3) Keep a look out for false statements…many espousing opinions are just plain wrong. Any false claims should be countered during subsequent comments.
4) Offer public health and safety alternatives that are honest and easily able to be monitored (limiting firearm sales because it makes the community “feel” safer just isn’t right).
7 persons offered generally pro-2A/anti-moratorium comments (I requested the following experiment be run: the city council allow the SM Sheriffs to grant up to 5% of SC’s population a waiver to obtain a CCW and that the City follow crime statistics during the 2 yrs those permits are valid; Imbert/Smither’s atty spoke…stated that I/S does not sell “black” guns and championed the notion of “sporting arms”; a private atty countered several “pro-moratorium comments” noting that all firearm sales, and particularly “assault weapon” sales in CA are strictly controlled; several spoke against the moratorium and requested that whatever the council does, it allows I/S to remain in business; several spoke against the moratorium but advocated that the issue be put to a city-wide vote).
11 persons offered generally anti-2A/pro-moratorium comments (essentially all comments were emotional opinions in nature, including one ~10-12 yr old, who had clearly been coached and had practiced his comments for quite some time; one elderly woman stated that she became “scared” every time she drove past Imbert/Smithers gun store; several asked if a new store could be forced to “only” sell hunting guns; several comments were absolutely false, i.e., that Turners was not going to have any special security in place, and Turners didn’t have a “permit” to open…note that at the time they didn’t NEED a permit; one woman was exasperated that the community was being asked AGAIN for comment; and that it was difficult to attend so many meetings; several didn’t understand why “one gun store” wasn’t enough; and several advocated for a complete ban on any gun sales in SC; one woman brought up that she didn’t recall firearm problems when she was young in the 50’s/60’s and then blamed the NRA for making guns a “big deal” in more recent times).
Here is a link to an active comment survey that will be active until mid-June (you must register your address as part of making a comment, but can withhold name or results from appearing publicly): https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/190/forum_home?active_issue_id=6230&phase=Open