Firearm retailers face new safety restrictions

At the City Council meeting on the evening of Monday, Nov. 14, the council unanimously passed an ordinance, Action Item 1 on the agenda, which adopts security requirements for when selling, or purchasing, a firearm.

Action Item 1 read, “Introduction of an ordinance adding chapter 11.19 to the Culver City municipal code to adopt permitting and security requirements for retail establishments selling firearms and ammunition.”

The proposed ordinance read in part that, “Whereas, in addition to the current requirement that such establishments obtain a conditional use permit, the City Council discussed potentially requiring a regulatory permit to be issued by the Culver City Police Department that would apply to all existing and any new retail firearms or ammunition establishments.”

The purpose of chapter 11.19, it says, is to “establish a local program for the license and regulation of the sale, lease or transfer of firearms or ammunition. The provisions of this Chapter are not intended to contradict or duplicate any applicable state ot federal law.”

Due to the fact that there was a shooting that very day that left three University of Virginia students dead, emotions were understandably high at the council meeting, with many local parents standing up to plead for the passing of the “common sense law.” 

Meanwhile, a couple of firearms retailers said that everything covered in 11.19 is already covered by the federal laws, and this just adds unnecessary extra work.

Every member of the council disagreed, with Mayor Daniel Lee echoing a comment from the public when saying that marijuana dispensaries shouldn’t be more regulated than firearm stores. Such stores, Lee said, shouldn’t be close to sensitive locations such as schools and places of worship. 

Council Member Göran Eriksson was particularly enthusiastic about 11.19, speaking about the fact that gun crime is out of control in this country. He also spoke of the need to do much more than passing this chapter.

It did pass 4-0 (Vice Mayor Albert Vera was absent due to illness), and that is at least a start.