City Council to Hold Public Hearing to Extend Gun Store Moratorium

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Protesters gathered during the opening of Gun World back in June, one of 14 gun retailers in Burbank (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank’s City Council will conduct a public hearing on August 23 at the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting to get public input and make a decision on extending the gun store moratorium that they put in place on July 26, 2022, as an urgency ordinance that was to be in effect for 45 days.

City staff has requested more time to look into a more complete and comprehensive solution to the 14 current gun retailers in Burbank, operating in about a five-square-mile radius.

While it will not shut down any of the current gun stores in business, they do hope to “Identify the appropriate regulatory measures for the placement of future “firearms retail uses,” including but not limited to the establishment of a cap on the number of firearms retailers, a buffer/distance separation requirement for new firearms retailers from sensitive land uses and existing firearms retailers, a new discretionary review process, and consideration of specific zones where new firearms retailers may be established and operate” according to the staff report.

When the Council first took up the moratorium, they were accused of taking away the public’s Second Amendment rights. Many of the speakers, who seemed to come from outside Burbank, did not seem to understand that the City was not looking to shut any gun stores but to limit the number of new stores in the future.

All this new hearing will do is extend the moratorium from September 9, 2022, to July 24, 2023, to give staff more time to look at what local controls the City can put in place.

Some of the options may include limiting the area gun stores may open and do business in through zoning or putting a cap on the number of gun stores. This would not affect current stores, but future stores would not be allowed to open until openings were available under the cap set.

Another area they can look at which would affect current stores is to “Create a local inspection program through the Building & Safety Division and/or the Burbank Police Department that would look at the inventory, storage, site security, and transaction procedures of existing firearms retailers to ensure compliance with Federal, State, and Local laws.”