PLEASANT HILL -- Under pressure from residents, city leaders agreed Monday to hold a workshop to review home gun sales.
"I think this should be discussed at the highest level," said Councilman Michael Harris.
He wanted to talk about residential and commercial firearms and ammunition sales, review police data on existing gun shops and look at other cities' ordinances banning home gun sales.
The rest of the council, however, wanted to restrict the workshop to home sales only; Councilman Jack Weir voted against even having a discussion.
The controversy began when members of the Contra Costa chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence learned that an online firearms business is operating from a Pleasant Hill condominium.
In October, the city approved Rico Tedjakusuma's request for a home occupation permit for an office for LNC Arms, an online firearms business. Tedjakusuma listed a condo on Scottsdale Road in the Tres Lagos North development as the business address on his permit application.
Tedjakusuma is a federally licensed firearms dealer and has passed criminal background checks by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the state Department of Justice, according to Pleasant Hill police Lt. Dan Connelly.
Tedjakusuma's home occupation permit is for a home office only, and it prohibits him from selling or delivering guns to customers at his residence. Pleasant Hill's zoning code doesn't require
Before the council meeting, a handful of Pleasant Hill residents stood at the entrance to Tedjakusuma's condo development at the intersection of Chilpancingo Parkway and Camelback Road, waving signs and handing out fliers decrying home gun dealers. The Brady Campaign organized the protest and urged people to attend the council meeting.
Many of the residents who spoke at Monday's meeting said firearms and ammunition should only be sold at stores. They also said a home gun business is a threat to public safety because firearms could be stolen and ammunition could explode in a fire.
Although residents urged the council to ban home gun sales, at a minimum they said the city should notify neighbors and hold a public hearing before issuing a home occupation permit for a firearms business.
Alany Helmantoler, a Concord-based gun lobbyist who advises open carry groups, agreed with notifying the public, but said the city doesn't need additional regulations for gun dealers.
"I don't see a firearms business as being an issue for the community at large," Helmantoler said.