City council to take up ordinance that may temporarily ban gun stores in Redwood City

A vote from the city council tonight, may temporarily prohibit firearms retailers from moving into Redwood City. This comes after two gun stores inquired about opening there. The city wants time to research the matter, meanwhile concerned residents and a frustrated gun shop are already weighing in.

Located right near a school and library, Roosevelt plaza in Redwood City is known for being family-friendly, the kind of place kids stop for ice cream.

And so when a gun store applied to move in, some residents were up in arms.

"I was upset, concerned, a little shocked. And then I said, OK let's figure out what this means," said Redwood City resident Jane Buescher.

As it turns out, there are no specific regulations on this. When it comes to firearms retailers, Redwood City treats them like any other commercial business.

"I think most people were just surprised it was even allowed," said resident Whitney Glockner Black.

And so a group of residents circulated a petition, gathering 1,500 signatures in five days.
And Redwood City agreed to take up an urgency ordinance that could prohibit firearms retailers temporarily.

The owner of Roosevelt plaza is upset.

"What's surprising is they do it after the fact. There was no problem before until somebody applied to have it in my shop," said Maria Rutenburg, who manages the plaza.

The gun store, called Dumpling Defense, released a statement saying ..."it's even more frustrating to have the rug pulled from under us mid-application, not to mention all the revenue and opportunities lost from the business perspective."

And the fight is only just beginning.

"I was sucked into the controversy and did not know it was going to be such a big deal but at this point there are a lot of groups involved in this. Second Amendment is very dear to a lot of people. And a lot of public interest groups are approaching me wanting to make it a showcase," said Rutenburg.

City officials said the ordinance would simply allow them time to conduct research on the topic.
They have no gun stores currently, but received interest from two since September.

Members of the community say at the very least, location has to be a consideration.

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"They need to really take into account the community thought on all of this, and really balance the safety before treating it like any other retailer," said Buescher.

Both sides expect a strong presence at the city council meeting. If approved this urgency ordinance would take effect immediately for 45 days but could later be extended for up to two years.