New gun store focus of Los Gatos council meeting

(KGO)
December 18, 2012 12:18:40 PM PST
Fallout from the Connecticut shooting tragedy is triggering new controversy over the opening this weekend of a Los Gatos sporting goods store.

Some residents are upset about the guns the store would sell and the topic took over at Monday night's town council meeting. The store opening wasn't even on the agenda but during the public comment period, that's the only topic attendees were commenting on. The new store on University Avenue will still open as planned on Saturday, but opponents can still claim, at least, a partial victory.

"I can't sleep at night now because of what happened on the East Coast," said during the meeting. Some Los Gatos residents are imagining something like that happening in their community if the Templar Sporting Goods store opens Saturday. Its offerings include high-end custom guns.

"It's not the town of Los Gatos that I know. I feel as though we should have talked about this before this business permit was issued," Los Gatos resident Deborah Weinstein said. "We talk about everything else. So, it seems like this would have been a big moment in time that we could have discussed."

Mayor Barbara Spector called for the council to consider an additional use permit and other possible restrictions at a February 4 meeting. Town Manager Greg Larson says the store's grand opening cannot be stopped by the city. "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 sell firearms," he explained.

Roughly half of the people who spoke at the meeting either want a ban on weapons sales in Los Gatos or support a change in town law to provide more oversight of stores that do sell guns. The other half was divided. Half are supportive of the new store. "I've known some of the guys for a long time. They're really outstanding citizens who have invested their whole life here. They really care about their community," said Mike Osborn of Campbell.

Half are supportive of the new store with conditions. "That would be my hope, that if they are into hunting and fishing then let them sell hunting and fishing. Nobody shoots deer with an AK-15," said Los Gatos resident Doug Hamilton.

Templar Sports has not yet responded to emails from ABC7 News.


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