SANTA CRUZ, Calif.- How easy is it to sell guns on the Central Coast? Well Santa Cruz County is trying to figure out how to make sure businesses are running a safe shop and plans to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
County Supervisor John Leopold said the county is taking a step back before allowing another gun shop to open in an unincorporated area. Leopold said when he heard a businessman, who doesn't want to be named, was planning to open a new gun shop in a Live Oak shopping center, he decided to take the issue to the rest of the board.
"I was surprised to find out that we don't have any regulations for gun stores and that this person could've actually gotten a permit over the counter," said First District Supervisor John Leopold.
On Tuesday, the board unanimously passed a temporary 45 day waiting period to allow the sheriff, the planning department and county attorney's, to sift through existing laws and the possibility of new rules, covering store security, annual permits and proximity to schools.
"When you have businesses that have an impact on the community, you want to mane sure that you're protecting the community and the environment and you want to take into consideration any regulations that could make a community safer," Leopold said.
These are eight locations with a Federal Firearms License in unincorporated parts of Santa Cruz County and several businesses run out of a home. County supervisors also want to see if these locations need more regulation. One of those license holders, who wouldn't talk on camera, told me the county is just trying push gun businesses out. He also said there's already so many rules they have to follow at the state and federal level. Leopold said many cities have special rules, but the county is lacking.
"We don't have the ability to ban gun shops and that's not what this legislation is about. It's really just about coming up with common sense rules, following what other cities have done," Leopold said.