SAN CARLOS, Calif. (KTVU) - There was a large turnout in San Carlos City Hall Monday night as city leaders approved a moratorium on retailers selling guns.
"We love a full house. We love it when our communities come out to talk about issues," said City Manager Jeff Maltbie.
San Carlos calls itself the "City of Good Living." On this night, the debate was over whether another gun store will detract from that quality of life.
"If you're going to bring guns into our city, something can and will happen," said Aspen Moulden, a San Carlos mother of two and homeowner.
She supports a moratorium.
Turner's Outdoorsman, a Southern California chain, says it signed a ten year lease to open up on Industrial Road in a strip mall. It says it goes above and beyond to follow all laws and regulations,
and secure its weapons and stores against theft.
"We do not exist in this industry if we don't follow the law. We don't think morally and ethically we belong in this industry if we don't take time to share with local and federal law enforcement when we see something doesn't seem right to us," says Bill Ortiz, Turner's Outdoorsman Vice President of Compliance who during a presentation at the meeting.
One city council member pointed to a number of thefts at Turner's Outdoorsman's various stores.
"2012, 12 rifles stolen from Turner store in Corona. Two weeks later same guys. Forty-two more guns stolen from Torrance store," says Ron Collins. a city council member.
"I'm a gun owner and a member of the NRA," says Dan who declined to give his last name. He opposes the moratorium.
Dan says he understands the tenor against gun sales and gun stores, following several mass shootings. But he says a moratorium won't make the community safer.
"If somebody wants to do something wrong, they don't need to get a gun. They can use a truck, use a van," says Dan.
"We as a community have a right to determine what businesses we have," says Ron Piovesan, a homeowner and father of two who supports the moratorium. He helped organized the opposition to a new gun store.
More than 100 people signed up to speak during public comment.
San Carlos Mayor Bob Grassilli says he's been inundated with emails, most supporting the moratorium.
"I've gotten 500 emails. I've never gotten 500 emails on anything," says Grassilli.
The initial moratorium is 45 days. But city officials say it will likely be extended for up to two years. They say it takes time to hire an expert to study the issue.