In a significant victory for Second Amendment rights and common sense, the Pleasant Hill Planning Commission voted unanimously on May 6 to recommend against the city adopting a new zoning law designed to put firearm retailers (FFLs) out of business. This vote was also a blow to the influence of billionaire anti-gun zealot Michael Bloomberg, whose supporters on the City Council are the ones pushing this ordinance.
Two lawyers who work with Bloomberg and the gun ban lobby were at the hearing and spoke in support of this anti-gun proposal. After listening to those lawyers’ statements, the Planning Commission soundly rejected the Bloomberg shills’ spin. You can see the entire video of the Planning Commission meeting here.
In doing so, the Planning Commission recognized the overwhelming public opposition to and unjust nature of this measure thanks to the many supporters of pro-Second Amendment organizations, including the National Rifle Association, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, Calguns, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, who attended the meeting or wrote in. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the end of this fight. The City Council can still ignore the Planning Commission and adopt this ordinance itself. The Pleasant Hill City Council is currentlyscheduled to hear this matter on Monday, June 9. That’s why it’s important that you stay tuned for our calls to action in the coming weeks. The City’s history suggests the fight will continue.
The Planning Commission hearing took place because in late 2013, the Pleasant Hill City Council passed an ordinance that imposed significant restrictions and unnecessary regulations on FFLs operating in the city. This ordinance requires FFLs to obtain a local permit with onerous conditions to sell firearms or ammunition and imposes zoning restrictions that prohibit any FFL from operating in most areas of the city.
This ordinance, like others being pushed locally in California at the behest of the gun ban lobby, is designed to make it extremely costly, impractical and nearly impossible for gun stores to open and operate. This ordinance was promoted by Pleasant Hill Mayor Michael G. Harris, in his personal quest to garner political support for the gun ban lobby’s agenda.
When the idea of this ordinance first arose, the City Council had the Planning Commission review the file to give their input on whether the ordinance should be drafted and considered. But the commissioners saw through the efforts, and understood that such an ordinance would harm lawful firearm businesses and discourage future FFLs from trying to open shop in the city. So the Planning Commission recommended against even drafting the ordinance.
Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Mayor Harris. Determined to get his ordinance passed despite the Planning Commission’s opposition, he pushed the ordinance through the City Council, this time circumventing the Planning Commission so he didn’t have to bother getting any of the legally required input from those commissioners.