The prospect of a second gun store in the peninsula city had galvanized the community. Residents came out to the city council meeting in record numbers. They say much was at stake.
"What kind of environment do people want to raise their children in," said Pamela Holt of San Carlos. "Do they want to raise them in an environment where it's just as easy to go by a gun store as it is to buy a Disney movie?"
The issue came to light when members of the community got wind of plans to turn a vacant unit on Industrial Road into a Turner's Outdoorsman, a Southern California-based retail chain that sells guns, ammo, hunting, and fishing equipment.
San Carlos City Hall received hundreds of emails in opposition.
"To me, that's a classic case of where you say stop the music. We have to decide as a community what we want to do," said San Carlos City Councilman Mark Olbert before the meeting.
Representatives of Turner's Outdoorsman told the council a moratorium would be unfair.
The company had already invested 125-thousand into the Industrial Road location. Plus, they said there was nothing unsafe about their stores.
"I personally feel safer taking my children to our stores than I would go to an ATM or a convenience store or gas station. Our stores are not unsafe to be in," said Rob Zubak, Vice-President of Sales for Turner's Outdoorsman.
But for many San Carlos residents, the recent mass shootings are very much on their minds.
"What happened in Las Vegas and Texas can happen in San Carlos. Let's not kid ourselves. Violent crime can happen in small towns more than people realize," said Aspen Moulden of San Carlos.
The council voted 4 to 1 in favor of the moratorium, which lasts for 45 days but can be extended for up to two years.
Representatives of Turner's Outdoorsman had no comment following the vote.
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