Los Gatos residents concerned about new gun store

December 17, 2012 9:12:50 PM PST
Even though it's not on Monday's agenda, the Los Gatos Town Council is bracing for an earful of public comment over a controversial new store set to open up there this weekend. The tragedy in Connecticut has only intensified the debate.

From the outside, the freshly painted walls and the upscale logo don't tell you much about what's being sold inside this store. But the neighbors know.

Guns kill things and that's why as a community we would like to know about that product, before it's available on our shelves in our retail outlets," Los Gatos resident Deborah Weinstein said.

Weinstein spoke to ABC7 News at a playground just a block from where Templar Sports is set to open what's been described as a high-end custom gun shop.

"We feel like schools and the neighborhood should be notified prior to issuing the business license," she said.

Town Manager Greg Larson explained why that wasn't possible.

"The section of the town code that regulates this area was last amended in 1987 and it doesn't give the town any restriction to review or even hold a public hearing on a retailer that wants to sale firearms," he said.

Larson says the town council may try to change that soon. In the meantime, the shop has already passed muster with police.

"Our police department has already done two reviews of their safety and security mechanisms and believes they are going above and beyond what's required by federal law," Larson said.

And some neighbors see it as a good thing.

"I think anytime you bring business to town, it's a positive thing," Los Gatos resident James Rogers said. "I don't think they're going to be handing out guns like candy to children, so why is there are real problem?"

As for children passing by the store, Larson assures parents there will be no images of guns on the outside thanks to the town's strict sign ordinance.

But in light of last week's elementary school tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Weinstein she still wishes neighbors had been given more input.

"Clearly after Connecticut, we can all see that firearms are a community issue," Weinstein said.

Whether or not the neighbors find cause for celebration, Templar Sports is set to celebrate its grand opening this coming Saturday.

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