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Supes OK moratorium on gun shops

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 16th, 2013

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak addresses the County Supervisors. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

SANTA CRUZ — After listening to a string of public comments Tuesday and receiving a stack of correspondence, including a disapproving letter from lawyers representing the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a moratorium on the establishment of new businesses engaged in the sale of firearms and ammunition in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The contentious proposal, originating from District 1 Supervisor John Leopold after learning a gun shop wanted to open in Live Oak, drew a crowd of vocal county residents on both sides of the gun issue.

Twenty-seven people lined up to share their views with the board.

Representatives from the Resource Center for Nonviolence and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom voiced their support for the measure, while opponents, such as the owner of the Santa Cruz Armory, based in Ben Lomond and the owner of Boulder Creek Hardware — who wrote to the board via email, voiced their opposition.

In his email, Boulder Creek Hardware owner Doug Conrad wanted to remind the board that, as San Lorenzo Valley’s oldest hardware store, it has stocked and sold “ammo” for decades — and it is “our legal right to do so.”

The moratorium would not impact existing businesses, only new businesses that are looking to trade in firearms and ammunition.

Due to the action of the board, the moratorium will last for 45 days from Jan. 15, during which time the county will work with county planners, law enforcement and public safety officials in reviewing regulations in neighboring jurisdictions and other communities and developing appropriate regulations.

For the complete article see the 01-16-2013 issue.

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