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New Los Gatos Gun Shop Causes Safety, Security Concerns

Opening of firearm store has some residents worried about youth accessing weapons, potential impacts on nearby neighborhood.

Residents who live near University Avenue and Roberts Road are expressing concern about the sudden opening of a gun store at 611 University Avenue last weekend.

One said he was on his morning walk when he passed the empty storefront in mid-November to signs plastered across the windows promoting the sale of the weapons.

The biggest sign, he said, read: “Coming Soon Guns, Guns and More Guns.”  There were smaller placards advertising bail bonds and check cashing. 

A public records search reveals the property, under parcel No. 529-10-091, is owned by Pletschette Partners LP. at 802 Poker Flat Road in Copperopolis, California.

The same company owns town property at 905 Castlewood Drive.

Another resident, who declined to be identified, said she tried to call town officials to inquire about the shop and asked about the process to open such a business in the downtown central  retail district.

She said town officials told her the new business didn't need a conditional-use permit and so the opening of the shop went without the residents receiving notice.

A soft opening is said to have taken place this past weekend for gun enthusiasts to check out the weapons, which aren't sports-type of firearms, but assault rifles, she said.

"It's very disturbing," she said.

Others, who also want to remain anonymous, are bothered by the apparent lack of opportunity for the community to voice questions or concerns around the decision to open a gun store in Los Gatos.

They say the shop's location also brings safety considerations to mind, given the fact that it's a main thoroughfare for kids, families and teens. It's across from a ballet studio, 100 yards from Oak Meadow Park and the main path for kids going to and from Fisher Middle School.

"I would liken this to the impact in downtown districts when head shops go in-- certainly doesn't improve home values," one said.

CJ Butcher January 07, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Cars, knives and chainsaws can be used for killing too. Where is all the outrage of selling them in town?
Tia January 29, 2013 at 04:28 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.
Phillip Salfen January 29, 2013 at 04:38 PM
I love conspiracy theories!
CJ Butcher January 29, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Tia, you have some flawed logic going on here: "Secondly, this indicates that a loophole was very calculatedly exploited, in 5 ways", just because the business is there does NOT in anyway prove or indicate that a loophole, if one even exists, was purposefully exploited.
Bob Rosenthal February 21, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Wildcat Sport Store on North Santa Cruz Ave. in the '50s and '60s sold camping and sports gear of all sorts. Also sold rifles, ammunition, and the evil hand gun. I bought my first revolver from them, a Ruger .22, single action. The shop later moved to East Main street where summit bicycles is now located and was called Kerrick's Wildcat Sports. Approximately one block from the high school. Never had a problem with either of these shops being in town.

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