Paying The Price For Speaking Up
An off-schedule post: This week, the Scotts Valley Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on several topics, the first of which is amendments to the City’s Firearm Regulations. The core description is: “…to require a use permit for new firearm retail, firearm repair service, and related uses.” For those of you who were at the October 4, 2017 City Council meeting, you will notice the addition of “firearm repair service, and related uses” to the proposed regulations. Welcome to the growing scope of gun control and spite ordinances in Scotts Valley.
At the City Council meeting, the subject of the three Scotts Valley ordinances was strictly firearm retailers, those who sell and transfer firearms. Somewhere between October 4th and November 6th without public input, comments or warning, the scope of the proposed conditional use permits — those who would be subject to the “objectives of the zoning ordinance and their effects on surrounding properties” — mysteriously expanded to include firearm repair service and related uses. What are firearm repair service and related uses? Gunsmiths and we can only presume firearm training.
Where did this come from? Take a look at the materials included with the Planning Commission agenda at the link below. You will see two Scotts Valley business owners, the co-owner of a gunsmith business and director of training and marksmanship for women’s programs and another business owner who provides medical and firearm instruction, were among those who spoke against the new proposed ordinances. A month later, the City targets those two business models in the new zoning ordinances.
If you’re thinking this is our own damn fault for identifying ourselves and speaking up, you are correct. We did make the choice to stand before the City Council and go on public record with our names and businesses to speak in opposition to misguided local gun control ordinances. We chose to speak up on the never ending increase of so-called public safety laws that target only law abiding firearm owners and do absolutely nothing to increase public safety. We chose to speak up against anti-business and anti-free commerce laws that are written with one thing, and one thing only in mind; the elimination of firearms retailers and your ability to lawfully purchase firearms and ammunition in Scotts Valley.
Most certainly, if we had kept out mouths shut, we would have flown under the local gun control radar and been able to continue our trade unencumbered. It’s not like there are any precedents in any of the surrounding communities, the communities the City used as a model to craft their own local gun control laws. In fact, from what I can tell this is completely unprecedented in California. I haven’t been able to find any other restrictions of firearm repair services and related uses, unrelated to sales and transfers of firearms anywhere in the country.
The gun control elitists and NIMBY among us will contend this is just another gun safety “loophole” they were fortunate enough to discover and now they can close for the “safety” of the community. The rest of us recognize this for what it truly is. Just another unjustified, non-fact supported gun control scheme targeting the further law-abiding firearm owner’s Second Amendment rights by fixing a problem that doesn’t exist.
In addition to targeting firearms retailers, of which the City has said they want to limit to one — because they respect the Second Amendment — they are now subjecting those who repair and keep firearms safe and in working order as well as hunter safety training, firearm training for women, youth and all those who wish to own and use firearms responsibly and safely, to the same conditional use permit process. This comes to us without anything to support its inclusion other than specifically targeting anything and everything to do with firearms, as well as those who speak up against the City Council.
This proposal is clearly an unwarranted expansion of scope from what the City Council sent to be worked on to what is being considered by the Planning Commission. The City of Scotts Valley is continuing to show what “respect the Second Amendment” means to them and how little they actually understand law-abiding firearm owners and public safety.
While the outcome appears to be already decided, it is incumbent on all of us to let the City of Scotts Valley and the Planning Commission know our thoughts.
The Scotts Valley Planning Commission meets at the City Council chambers at 6 pm this Thursday, November 9, 2017. Public comment on agenda items is encouraged.
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