Redwood City approves temporary ordinance prohibiting gun shops

Redwood City’s council members approved an emergency ordinance that would stop a gun shop from operating in the city. The council says it wants to study the impact a gun store would have on the area. Right now, there are no gun stores within city limits.  

People on both sides of the issue spoke at tonight’s city council meeting. Many people were against opening a gun store in Redwood City and others felt it was unfair and unnecessary to keep a gun store out.   

Redwood City doesn’t currently have a gun store, but there are some people who want that to change.  

"What is the immediate threat here? Did we have any gun shootings lately in schools? It has to be related to this even if it’s related to this, so even if you’re trying to do something temporary, be very careful of the constitutional standard," said Maria Rutenberg, manager of Roosevelt Plaza, where one gun shop wants to operate.    

Without the emergency ordinance, a gun shop would be approved just like any other retail shop applying to operate in Redwood City. Some say they disapprove of its proposed location in Roosevelt Plaza, saying it would be located within a thousand feet of a school.  

"Just today a teenager was convicted of killing four people in a school shooting and two more people died in a school shooting in St. Louis. One of the ways we can take a clear and definitive stance of no against such violence, is by taking a clear and definitive step away from firearms dealers in our local community," said Katie Gaets, a parent and Pastor of Woodside Road United Methodist Church in Redwood City. 

Redwood City’s city council was asked via petition with 1,500 signatures, to implement a temporary ordinance to keep a gun shop from opening, particularly in a residential area. Those who support a gun shop say they just want to be able to protect themselves and their families as crime rates continue to rise.  

"As someone like me, I just want to protect my family and police can always get there. I don’t think it would be a harm for the school," said Gabriella Mejia, a Redwood City resident. 

At least two stores, one called Dumpling Defense, have applied to operate a gun shop in Redwood City since September. 

Dumpling Defense released a statement saying in part:

"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." 

The Council says the ordinance will simply allow them time to research the impact a gun store will have on the community before making a final decision. The ordinance will take effect immediately for 45 days and may be extended up to two years.