HomeCity Government NewsCity Council Bans New Firearms Dealers for 45 Days

City Council Bans New Firearms Dealers for 45 Days

During its Aug. 15 meeting, the Glendale City Council adopted an interim urgency ordinance prohibiting new firearms retailers in the city with a 4-1 vote, following the ordinance’s introduction in a July 25 meeting.
This comes a few months after the Council requested the consideration of a moratorium on new firearms retailers. Currently, Glendale has seven licensed firearms dealers — the two most recent of which were opened in 2021. This means that Glendale’s per capita rate of firearms dealers is one per 27,480 residents, according to Bradley Calvert, the director of community development for Glendale.
Glendale’s per capita rate is the second highest in neighboring cities following Burbank, whose rate is one per 7,386. The city of Burbank has also imposed a firearms dealers moratorium. Pasadena’s rate is one per 47,339 and Los Angeles’ is one per 110,277.
Councilman Ara Najarian voted against the ordinance, stating he didn’t understand why it was necessary for the city and that he believes the process to open firearms dealership is “rigorous” enough.
Currently, the requirements to open a firearms retail store in Glendale include obtaining approval from federal, state and local levels, a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and a certificate of eligibility from the Department of Justice, Calvert explained in the July 25 meeting. After completing those steps, a license is administered from the chief of police.
Najarian also suggested this moratorium was coming down from the California Democratic Party.
Calvert explained in the July 25 meeting that this moratorium is related to land use and zoning decisions, rather than the broader issue of the right to bear arms.
“Introducing a moratorium would provide staff the opportunity to investigate any alternatives that Council may direct this evening including a conditional use permit that would give us the opportunity to identify what’s the appropriate response and contextual relationship for a firearms retailer,” Calvert said. He also said that after a 45-day moratorium, which is now in effect, Council could evaluate the city staff’s report and choose to extend the moratorium by another 10 months and 15 days.
Councilmembers Paula Devine and Ardy Kassakhian both emphasized that the goal of the moratorium is not to prohibit guns in Glendale, but to study the impact of gun retailers and examine which areas they should or shouldn’t be operating — for example, not having retailers near schools.
Kassakhian discussed the influence mass shootings had on the Council’s decision to explore a firearms dealers moratorium in the July 25 meeting.
“We as a country are more comfortable with school shootings than we are about limiting our own ability as adults to responsibly own firearms,” he said. “I want to have a city where we allow opportunities for individuals who want to purchase guns to purchase them, and limit the proliferation of gun shops when we’ve just had two new ones open in 2021 so that we don’t have a city that’s comprised mostly of gun stores.”
Councilwoman Elen Asatryan shared her views on the number of gun retailers during the July 25 meeting.
“We have as many gun dealers as we have ice cream shops and if we continue on this path, that’s not the city I’m looking to live in,” she said. “I’m not looking to ban the sale of guns in our city, but I am for limiting where those dealers would be.”

First published in the August 19 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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