INDOOR SHOOTING RANGE AND SAFETY TRAINING FACILITY AT 2717 LOKER AVENUE WEST
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.
CITY STAFF's DECISION – SHOOTING RANGES ARE NOT RECREATIONAL USES AND NOT PERMITTED IN CARLSBAD
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.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING
HELD ON – 2/18/15
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
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
We were grateful for and humbled by the outpouring of community
the overwhelming public support
Assistant City Attorney Jane Mobaldi told the Planning
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
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
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
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.
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."
means of course that the City Council can also approve an indoor
shooting range even though it is not specifically listed as a
citizens of Carlsbad support us.
Carlsbad building owners whose structures are closest to our
building support us.
Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce officially supports us.
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
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,
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