December 7th was an important day for Gun Safari, firearms enthusiasts and Second Amendment supporters in Los Angeles. A public hearing took place in Van Nuys in front of the local neighborhood council, which is one of the steps required during the application process for a conditional use permit-a requirement to operate as an FFL in Los Angeles.
It is well known to most firearm enthusiasts in the area that Los Angeles is not a Second Amendment friendly place anymore. Gun shops typically close here, not open, but with the support of Calguns, CRPA, NRA and all the supporters who showed up to let their presence be felt, it looks like that might be changing.
With a simple post on the Calguns forums, an e-mail notification by CRPA, and a flyer posted up at a local NRA meeting, we were able to get our message out to enthusiasts in our area who feel the same.
Going into the hearing we were very uncertain how the board was going to vote, we had met with them prior and were greeted by mixed opinions towards firearms. Multiple members displayed a fear and general misunderstanding of firearms/ammunition, and multiple members also stated they were simply worried about thefts, firearms winding up on the streets, and straw purchases. When our time came to be heard, one lone member who is the wife of an avid hunter, spoke on behalf of Gun Safari. Questions were asked mostly regarding security of the facility and a basic rundown of what items and services were planned on being offered by Gun Safari.
It is my belief that what happened next is what swayed the vote. Members of the community in attendance were given the chance to voice their opinions, we had individuals speak in favor-not simply of a gun shop opening-but a business that will bring growth back to our community and bring a service people want back to a city that has sought the closure of such stores in the past.
After listening to their fellow community members speak, the board held a vote and passed a motion with a vote of 9-1 in favor of sending a recommendation of approval to the city council and zoning administrators for Gun Safari's request of a conditional use permit to sell firearms and ammunition in the city of Los Angeles.
Overall the first of two hearings was a great success, with credit due to the wonderful pro-Second Amendment organizations we have operating, and most importantly the people who were willing to come out and make their voices count.
Details for the next and final meeting where a decision will be made are listed below.
Final public hearing considering allowing a new FFL in Van Nuys
Monday, January 23, 2012 at 2:00pm
6262 Van Nuys Blvd, Room 1B, Van Nuys, CA 91401
Click for map and directions.