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Dear Supporters,

As you know, we hope to open a world class indoor shooting range and firearm safety training facility in our building at 2717 Loker Avenue West in Carlsbad, the same location where Gunther Guns is currently located.

Per the Carlsbad Municipal Code, recreational facilities ARE permitted in the PM Zone (the Zone our property is located in) subject to Administrative approval of a Minor Conditional Use Permit.


Last November we prepared detailed plans and submitted our application for a Minor Conditional Use Permit. Approximately a month after we submitted our application we received on Christmas Eve the attached letter from the City of Carlsbad stating that shooting ranges were NOT permitted in Carlsbad and could NOT be considered a recreational use. When we asked the rationale behind this decision we were told that was the decision and it was final. View the rejection letter by clicking here.

What we didn't expect: After the city staff rejection letter went public this issue became very political - very fast. We were contacted by no less than 6 political organizations who offered to lend their support. Leading up to and following the planning commission hearing, hundreds of letters and emails were sent to the city. The vast majority of these letters and emails were respectful and to the point. Unfortunately, some were not respectful. We were told by our attorney that some people were "name calling" and calling for the resignation of certain individuals within the city. Lisa and I immediately sent an apology letter to all concerned at City Hall and assured them that we did not instruct anyone to be disrespectful or call for the resignation of any individuals.

Letter to city.


Prior to this hearing we submitted a petition in support of the proposed use with over 620 names on it and over 130 letters in support of the proposed indoor shooting range. At the hearing there were over 250 people attending in support of the proposed use. Over 26 people testified in favor of approval. Hundreds of citizens wrote letters and sent emails to city hall urging them to support this permit application.

The City has never seen this type of support for a proposed project. On a side note: When the official minutes to this planning commission hearing were released, not one of the dozens of supporter's testimony was mentioned. The only testimony that was added to the minutes was the one person who spoke against us. View Official Minutes.

We were grateful for and humbled by the outpouring of community support.
Despite the overwhelming public support - the Assistant City Attorney Jane Mobaldi told the Planning Commissioners that the public's testimony and support of the shooting facility was irrelevant .

Mobaldi continued by instructing the Planning Commissioners that the only thing they could vote on was whether the City Planner Don Neu had abused his power or made an error by denying our application and stating that a shooting range could not be considered a recreational use. The room filled with supporters was shocked and showed some frustration with this turn of events.

The facts seemed clear. An application was submitted to the Planning Dept. for a minor conditional use permit to open a recreational shooting facility. The planning department under Don Neu denied the application stating that shooting ranges were not a recreational use. Hundreds of supporters appeared before the Planning Commission that night to show support that shooting ranges are indeed a recreational use. The frustration of supporters was palpable when the assistant city attorney would not allow the planning commissioners to vote on whether shooting ranges are recreational or not. They were only to vote on whether Don Neu abused his power or made an error when he rejected our application by ruling that shooting ranges are not recreational.

Despite this limitation, Planning Commissioners Neil Black, Stephen "Hap" L'Heureux and Marty Montgomery voted that Don Neu had made an error or abused his power by denying our application. The assistant city attorney told the Commission that their tied vote constituted a denial of the appeal.

Therefore, we
are appealing this denial to the City Council . As mentioned earlier, the City has never seen this level of support for a proposed recreational facility. We are hopeful that the City Council will be more willing to listen to the desires of the citizens and business owners of Carlsbad.

What this is about - What this is not about.
This issue is not about the right to own a firearm or the Second Amendment. This is about providing the good citizens of Carlsbad with a world class shooting and training facility that everyone can be proud of. A clean and safe environment to enjoy shooting sports. The issue going before the City Council on May 5th is not about whether city planner Don Neu had the power or right to deny our application. We can all agree that he did have the power to deny our application. The real issue is whether Don Neu abused that power and/or made a mistake in determining that a shooting range was somehow not a recreational sport.

The city staff on May 5th will most likely argue that Don Neu's decision to deny our application was not an abuse of power because shooting ranges are not specifically listed as approved recreational uses in Carlsbad. The obvious rebuttal to this argument is: "Indoor Swimming Pools and Go Cart Tracks are not specifically listed as approved recreational uses in Carlsbad either - but they exist because the City Council approved them."

This means of course that the City Council can also approve an indoor shooting range even though it is not specifically listed as a recreational use.

  • The citizens of Carlsbad support us.

  • The Carlsbad building owners whose structures are closest to our building support us.

  • The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce officially supports us.

On May 5th, we need Mayor Matt Hall to support a world class recreational shooting and training facility for the people of Carlsbad. We are hoping to get the support of the entire City Council.
Keith Blackburn - Lorraine Wood - Dr. Mark Packard and Michael Schumacher.

We Still Need Your Help!

We are asking all of our supporters to attend the City Council hearing which has been set for 6:00 PM on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at:
Carlsbad City Hall
1200 Carlsbad Village Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008.

Please attend and ask the City Council to vote that Don Neu made a mistake in denying our permit application.

Lisa and I realize that you all have busy lives, but we need your help. We firmly believe that the most responsible thing to do after the sale of a firearm is to offer training in its safe use. If you would like an indoor shooting range and firearm safety training facility in Carlsbad please help us.

Every law-abiding citizen has the right to enjoy recreational shooting.
Including the people of Carlsbad.


Lisa and Gregg Gunther

Special Thanks To Commissioner Marty Montgomery

Lisa Gunther with son Harry

We are a small family owned business that struggles to survive in a time where giant corporations rule the day.

Over 40 million Americans enjoy recreational target shooting.

National Shooting Sports Foundation

Parent's Guide To Recreational ShootingRecreational shooting is 3 times safer than playing tennis.
In fact, it's a lot safer than concerned parents may believe.
Click on the tennis ball to learn how safe shooting actually is.

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