Opinion: City Council Has Completely Missed the Mark on Gun Store Ordinance


It’s just my opinion:

On May 27, 2022, I wrote about the proliferation of gun stores in Burbank. In that opinion piece, I documented 14 licensed gun retailers in a 5 1/2-square-mile area of Burbank.

I also discussed how close some of these stores were to schools. The state law does not say it’s a 1000-foot rule based on how the crow flies or by driving, and we documented four schools within that 1000-foot area.

On July 26th, 2022, the Burbank City Council approved an urgency ordinance to deal with the gun shops and come up with requirements for gun shops to operate in the city of Burbank. Now close to two years later, they are ready to take permanent actions.

This Tuesday, May 21, the City Council is ready to take the first step toward a permanent solution.

While they have done all their due diligence, they have not addressed the one factor that stands out more than any other: the number of gun shops in Burbank. Not only do we call Burbank the Media Capital of the World, but we are also the Gun Store Capital of the World, with no other city having as many gun shops in a 5 1/2 square mile radius as we do in Burbank.

While I’m all for these new protections and these new guidelines established in the ordinance, why are we not limiting the amount of gun shops that can operate in Burbank? Who thinks that we need more than five in a 17-square-mile city?

I understand that we cannot force gun shops to close. These businesses have all come to Burbank and established their stores legally, and we cannot force them to close. No one is asking them to close their doors, nor should they. This ordinance does not address how many more gun stores can enter Burbank right now and do business.

This map shows the locations of schools as the crow flies to current gun stores

If we were to limit the number of retail gun stores to five in the city, then as current locations close their doors, then other retailers could not come into Burbank to sell weapons until the number got below five.

No, we are not going after your Second Amendment rights, nor does anyone intend to take them away. This has nothing to do with gun ownership. I’m not asking that we ban gun stores from the city, but do we really need more than five? Burbank has banned cannabis stores from opening in the city and even banned rentable scooters from doing business in the city. We also do not allow Airbnb in Burbank. So yes, this precedent has been set in the past.

Also, this ordinance has regulations such as the distance separating residential zones from gun stores, which shall be 500 feet and 500 feet from other firearm and ammunition retailers. Once again, I ask if that is through street mapping or how the crow flies. There is a big difference, and it needs to be spelled out.

So, while I am not against gun stores, it’s just the amount of gun stores. I love living in what is called the Media Capital of the World and not living in the gun store capital of the world. Yes, I support this ordinance; it just needs to go further to protect Burbank’s way of life.

In other words, to put it in the context of a gun owner’s lingo, we can’t be happy with just hitting the target anywhere, we need to hit the bullseye.

Map of gun stores within 5 1/2 miles of each other as of May, 2022


    1. Mr. Sherwood,

      Your article, both then and now, borders on hyperbole, with illustrations suggesting that stores near schools pose a threat. This assertion is unfounded. There is no data to support any of your claims.

      It seems to me that you are unfairly targeting business owners, workers, and the city’s tax base. You appear to be motivated by a desire to maintain Burbank’s image as the media capital, without considering the broader implications for our community.

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