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Los Gatos Gun Store Opponents Protest Saturday

Small demonstration took place this weekend outside Templar Sports, 611 University Ave.

Several opponents of the new gun store, Templar Sports, that opened in December at 611 University Ave., protested peacefully Saturday against its operation.

A Los Gatos police dispatcher confirmed that "more than a handful" of protesters picketed along University Avenue this weekend, but no police patrols were sent to the area.

"They're not breaking the law," the dispatcher said. "Protesters, as with anybody else, have a right to voice their opinion on something and so they can be out there as long as they are keeping the peace. They're allowed to be out there. They're not in violation of any law."

She continued: "They have a First Amendment right to be there."

This was the third organized protest against the business. and Dec. 29.

Residents are upset that the business was allowed to open in town without a conditional-use permit and they don't like its location being close to a thoroughfare heavily used by youth, across from a ballet studio, 100 yards from Oak Meadow Park and the main path for kids going to and from Daves Avenue Elementary and Fisher Middle schools.

Los Gatos Town manager Greg Larson has explained that retail enterprises are allowed as a matter of legal right under existing zoning at that location, which is not in the central business district (i.e., downtown) nor a residentially zoned property.

"There are no existing requirements in the town code for a conditional-use permit or any other discretionary approval for this retailer at that location. Consequently, there is no existing authority by which town staff, the Planning Commission and/or the Town Council could deny the operation of this retailer at this location. Future retailers could possibly face additional restrictions or processing requirements if the Town Council so amends the town code, but those changes could not be applied retroactively to this existing establishment," Larson said in a statement issued last month.

Proponents and opponents showed up in equal numbers at a Dec. 17 Council meeting to discuss the issue with government officials.

Michelle McNutt January 16, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I am disgusted that an online petition was altered after being signed by 90 people The original text stated that it was to stop a store from selling automatic weapons. Machine guns! More manipulation. The text has now been changed to say not supporting this store. Vandalism. lies, and scheming. Petition author Shannon Susick, you should be ashamed. Talk to your elected representative, Mike Wassreman. Living in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County, you're not even a voting resident of Los Gatos.
Esmée St James January 16, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I used the death penalty only as an illustration of the severest punishment for crimes, not to discuss the death penally. My apologies to have confused you. Educating gun owners on gun safety and proper storage is a great idea. Doing and enforcing this successfully in a nation where 88.8 out of every 100 owns a firearm is an even more daunting, if not impossible task. We are the most heavily armed society in the world... per the Washington Post http://wapo.st/SLiRPc. Starting at the source by reducing the number of guns in the US would be common sense. Change is frightening to all but this change could make a real difference.
KMD January 18, 2013 at 06:15 AM
This much ado about nothing. Last check we still have the right to bear arms and stores have a right to sell them.
Tia January 29, 2013 at 04:43 PM
The Los Gatos patch, quoted the town representatives statement with regards to Templar sports, which would be selling guns. "There are no existing requirements in the town code for a conditional-use permit or any other discretionary approval for this retailer at that location.” Firstly, this raises the question was a loophole created by using some creative zoning manipulations. Secondly, this indicates that a loophole was very calculatedly exploited, in 5 ways: 1) Requesting/ selecting a location 2) In which town staff, the Planning Commission and/or the Town Council had no existing authority to deny the operation of this retailer. 3) It did not require adequate public notice and approval procedures 4) Cannot be granted restrictive or conditional license 5) Lastly cannot be touched retroactively though otherwise brown act provides provision for it. Begs the question who and what can be trusted?
lovelafayette February 19, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Years ago in Lafayette, Ca Payless Drugs rented a small building next to the main store to an "antique" gun dealer. It was a legal use but residents were pissed. We took photos of gun customers (they HATE that!), we picketed, BUT the most effective action was a threatened boycott of the landlord Payless! No more gun store! Does the gun dealer own the building? If not consider pressure on the landlord. Watch carefully and photo document criminal activity. Lafayette then went on to pass an ordinance that Danville may want to adopt: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16435 Lafayette had an infestation of brothels (19) euphimistically called "Asian Massage," with customers coming from all over! We had no ordinance regulating massage. Now new 2012 ordinance requires state massage license, legit businesses are licensed, police stings and pimps and hos arrests continue. LPD arrested johns for parole violations, child molester in wrong neighborhood, but most johns unfortunately not charged. Danville must decide what kind of businesses fit, and outlaw the ones you don't want, BEFORE they move in. If you decide you don't need brothels then you could borrow our new massage ordinance as well!

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