The Mountain View City Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday to adopt two firearm safety ordinances that require firearm dealers to obtain a local permit, and bans gun and ammunition sales in homes. These businesses also must operate at least 250 feet away from parks, schools and day care settings.
The motion passed unanimously, with Council member Ellen Kamei absent from the discussion and vote.
Since 2020, the city has adopted two firearm safety ordinances: one prohibiting the possession of guns on city property and the second requiring the safe storage of guns in homes and vehicles. The current ordinance aims to regulate the activities of gun dealers.
To legally operate in the state, dealers need to obtain a Federal Firearms License and a California license. But the state also lets local agencies adopt their own permitting requirements, Assistant City Attorney Diana Fazely said. Assuming local permits, gun dealers would need to comply with local regulations before they can acquire a state license.
Gun dealers will need to obtain an annual permit from the Mountain View Police Department to continue operating their businesses in the city. As part of the process, they will need to provide information about their prior permitting history, criminal conviction history and demonstrate compliance with federal and state requirements, Fazely said.
Gun dealers also are required to obtain liability insurance that provides at least $1 million in coverage per incident, according to the council report. They will have 90 days to comply with the local permit ordinance once it goes into effect.
The second ordinance prohibits gun dealers from selling firearms or ammunition from their homes. Dealers will have one year to comply with these zoning restrictions.
Currently, there is one gun dealer operating out of their home and three brick and mortar businesses, Fazely said. All of these businesses fall outside of the 250-foot buffer zone that protects parks, schools and day cares, she added.
Council member Margaret Abe-Koga proposed to extend the 250-foot buffer to include government buildings, places of worship, public trails, residential zoning districts and businesses providing activities to minors, similar to what Los Gatos and, to a lesser extent, Palo Alto, have in place. The motion passed without these changes.
The city sent notices to the affected firearm dealers about the proposed ordinances, prompting Vice Mayor Pat Showalter to question whether anyone contacted them in person, which city staff had not.
The new rules take effect 30 days after final adoption of the ordinances, which is slated for a vote later this month.