Tuesday night, July 26, Burbank’s City Council will conduct a public hearing to consider an urgency ordinance imposing a moratorium for 45 days on the establishment of new retail uses selling firearms or ammunition and to consider possible regulatory frameworks for firearms retailers in Burbank, as well as short-term and long-term actions.
This is in response to the 14 firearm sellers located in Burbank, specifically within a five-mile radius, making this the largest concentration of gun sellers anywhere in the country.
Staff is asking the Council to “Impose a moratorium for 45 days prohibiting the establishment of new retail businesses selling firearms or ammunition to allow staff time to study, analyze, and propose potential land use
regulations concerning firearms retailers, including:
• Limiting or reducing the number of firearm retailers in the City by suspending the issuance of new licenses and allowing the number of retailers to decline over time through attrition;
• Amending the business license process governed by BMC Section 3-4-111 to establish additional requirements for firearms retailers, such as successfully passing an audit by a state or federal agency as a condition of license renewal. Council may further consider implementation of local inspections regarding inventory, storage, site security, and transaction procedures; and
• Adopting a Zone Text Amendment to enact buffer zones and prevent the establishment of firearms retailers near sensitive-use locations.”
Currently, the State of California has the “California Gun-Free School Zone Act” in which you will see a sign on every Burbank Unified School District site that says in part, “No Weapons within 1,000 feet of any school per California Penial Code 626.9. While it is unclear if this applies to gun retailers, there are currently four within the 1,000-foot boundary.
During the moratorium, staff would have time to research conditions to grant or deny new gun shops from opening. Some of the things they could look into and consider would be the area located, such as proximity to parks, schools, and residential areas. They could also study how other cities have limited the number of retailers.
According to the staff report, “The neighboring cities of Glendale, Pasadena, and Los Angeles have established specific zoning designations and locations where firearm retail uses are allowed; in specific instances, Pasadena and the City of Los Angeles require the approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or approval from a decision-making body before a firearm retail use can operate.”
As for proximity regulations, the report says. “An Alameda County ordinance prohibiting gun stores within 500 feet of any school, liquor store, or residence was upheld in Teixeira v. County of Alameda, which ruled that imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms, specifically regulating the location of these businesses, was presumptively lawful as long as it did not meaningfully restrict an individual’s legal access to firearms.”
Staff’s report, which was written by Joseph McDougall, City Attorney; Michael Albanese, Chief of Police; and
Patrick Prescott Community Development Director is very detailed and talked about all aspects of the gun stores, including crimes and calls for service.
You can read the staff report here. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 pm.