Federal Court Upholds County Ordinance Banning New Gun Stores

(Photo: NRA-ILA)

The full U.S. 9th Circuit last week upheld an Alameda County, Ca., law barring gun stores within 500 feet of residential properties.

Writing for the majority in the 9-2 decision, Judge Marsha Berzon noted that there are numerous gun stores in the area at which to purchase firearms.

“In any event, gun buyers have no right to have a gun store in a particular location, at least as long as their access is not meaningfully constrained,” said Berzon.

The decision comes as yet another blow to Second Amendment rights from the 9th Circuit. The two dissenting judges, Carlos Bea and Richard Tallman, harshly criticized their colleagues for their continuing attacks on the right to keep and bear arms.

“The impact of this county ordinance on the fundamental rights enshrined in the Second Amendment cannot be viewed in a vacuum without considering gun restrictions in California as a whole,” said Tallman. “I fear today’s decision inflicts yet another wound on our precious constitutional right.”

“Our cases continue to slowly carve away the fundamental right to keep and bear arms,” he continued. “Today’s decision further lacerates the Second Amendment, deepens the wound, and resembles the Death by a Thousand Cuts.”

He isn’t wrong. The 9th Circuit has recently upheld a string of anti-gun laws in California.

  • In 2014 the court upheld an ordinance requiring handguns inside the home to be stored in locked containers or disabled with a trigger lock when not being carried on the person.
  • In 2016 the court held that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a concealed weapon in public where the sheriff’s policy required “good cause” to obtain permits to do so, and refused applicants who could offer no justification beyond claiming the need for self-defense.
  • In 2016 upholding a 10-day waiting period for purchasers who already had a concealed-carry permit and already cleared a background check.

This week’s case was brought in 2012 by John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gara Gamaza who found it was impossible to lease a commercial location for a new gun store that was more than 500 feet away from a residential area.

SEE ALSO: New Jersey Supreme Court Okays Machetes for Self-Defense Under 2A

While they were initially granted a variance from the 500-ft. rule and permitted to lease a location 446 feet away from a residential area, the Board of Supervisors reversed their decision after a local homeowners’ association that was “opposed to guns” objected.

The ordinance, in effect, bans the opening of new gun stores within an entire American county. While gun stores existed prior to the law, and these gun stores are permitted to remain open, it isn’t clear what will happen when these stores inevitably go out of business.

In fifty years, the Alameda residents may not have access to firearms within the county.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Greg January 9, 2018, 8:36 pm

    I don’t want a gun shop near my house either. There are too many nuts with guns as it is.

  • James Higginbotham October 22, 2017, 2:05 am


  • Auggie Will October 21, 2017, 10:56 pm

    They have done such a good job of keeping drugs off the street that I’m sure they will win this one as well.

    • Leighton Cavendish October 22, 2017, 10:53 am

      Same with alcohol during prohibition…people that want something…WILL find away to get it…through legal or illegal means.

  • Gman October 20, 2017, 8:15 pm

    The sooner California falls into the ocean the better I’ll feel.

  • John Parker, Sr. October 20, 2017, 4:55 pm

    Blue dog, have some balls and state you are a communist. Move out stay out of this U.S.

  • Colonialgirl October 20, 2017, 12:06 pm

    The 9th circus is all you need to see to understand why these morons ruled in such an asinine fashion.
    Loaded with liberal morons, they hold the record for the MOST rulings overturned by the SCOTUS on appeal (75-80%).
    This court needs to be split up and the liberal idiots retired.

    • James Higginbotham October 22, 2017, 2:07 am


  • George October 20, 2017, 10:26 am

    Is Blue Dog, perhaps, an NRA troll whose mission is to get the faithful frothing at the mouth? Serve the government indeed – talk about dog whistles, that’s a dog siren!

  • john October 20, 2017, 10:03 am

    Legally purchased firearms from legally operated Gun Stores are not the ones being used in crimes ! Ban Automobile Dealerships ! Far more people are killed in automobile accidents every year than by firearms !

  • joefoam October 20, 2017, 9:51 am

    I can’t wait to see the lines forming with dangerous criminals wanting to turn in their guns. Do you really think that’s going to happen?

  • Charles Kimberl October 20, 2017, 9:27 am

    This will be immediately overturned by SCOTUS.

  • mauser6863 October 20, 2017, 9:13 am

    Well, in Alameda County, if you have a Cannabis Business, the zoning law only requires that you be 300 feet (not 500 feet) distance from a residential property. Maybe they all like the smell. They also require that you be 1,000 feet away from schools, playgrounds, drug treatment facilities, etc.

    So smoke all the dope you want, but don’t open a federally licensed (and legal) business in our town.

    Wonder if the same restrictions were placed on opening a mosque, what the courts would have to say.

    Typical Commiefornia, no surprise.

  • Aquaman71755 October 20, 2017, 8:54 am

    It’s the 9th Circuit Court who would have guessed. When challenged the 9th Circuit has been overturned numerous times. Just look at the travel ban as the most recent.

  • Joe Smith October 20, 2017, 7:48 am

    Wow, blue dog said it himself, “it is a worthwhile sacrifice for the overall sense of public safety.” It’s a ‘sense’ of public safety, because in reality it does absolutely nothing for public safely. NOTHING. They think they’re keeping guns off his streets with that ridiculous law; what a laugh. Chicago didn’t allow any gun stores at all for years and look at the crime there. Crime rates are controlled by the people who live there, not the proximity to residential housing. The only thing they accomplished with that useless law is making it less convenient for law abiding people to shop, which uses more gasoline causing pollution and supposedly global warming. I’m still laughing!!

  • Altoid October 20, 2017, 6:26 am

    California has been lost to communism, anti-America hate and outright disdain for the US Constitution. All we can do is hope to contain the damage and keep it from spreading too much.
    Best thing that could be done would be to confine the jurisdiction of the 9’th circuit to San Fransisco and create another circuit court of appeals to cover the remaining area that the 9th covers now. It could be made up of appointees who share the literal (and the only realistic) view of the US Constitution.

    • Rudder October 20, 2017, 12:08 pm

      I just Google maps for Alameda County, CA and it appears to show that San Francisco is in a different county. OTOH, Oakland sits within Alameda County.

  • Afvet October 20, 2017, 3:42 am

    You need to remove your dumb;ignorant ass off this site. It’s obvious you are a member of the brainwashed anti gun crowd who are hell bent on disarming Americans. In this action, you also dishonor those who have served and lost their lives defending the constitution of this great country. These guns and or and or related parts are inorganic products without a mind of there own and cannot harm anyone. It takes a human to pull that trigger. This is a social issue, not a gun issue.

    • Greg January 9, 2018, 8:50 pm

      Everyone should be able to buy a gun, just no ammunition for it.

  • SuperG October 16, 2017, 6:22 pm

    This is not only a decision for gun control, but also against free enterprise. Imagine being told I can’t open a grocery store in a certain area, because there are too many fat people in that area and it would cause them to gain weight. That is where we are headed with this decision. Alameda County is becoming a dictator, and once you give them this win, they’ll only go on to other items.

  • Blue Dog October 16, 2017, 3:39 pm

    We the people have to use whatever tools we have at our disposal to keep dangerous guns off our streets. If the government that we ALL serve as Americans, every one of us together, has to use zoning laws to play lawyerball and keep these guns that the community feels is dangerous off those streets, then it is a worthwhile sacrifice for the overall sense of public safety.

    • Jsk October 20, 2017, 3:26 am

      This coming from a troll that most likely can’t even drive properly something far more dangerous than any gun. You serve the gov’t, well put, as a true American the gov’t is supposed to serve us dimwit. Learn something.

      • Greg January 9, 2018, 8:44 pm

        It isn’t the guns that are dangerous. It is the stupid people who own them.

    • Steve October 20, 2017, 7:03 am

      “The government that we ALL serve”??? BS! The government is supposed to ‘serve’ us, not us becoming slaves to and ‘serving’ the government. Those are some damn dangerous and stupid ideas you’ve got in your head, boy.

    • Derrall Williamson October 20, 2017, 9:10 am

      We serve the government. Nice try you flaming liberal fascist. You are the extreme of stupidity and Constitutional ineptitude. I wish you were standing in front of me right now. I would give you a lesson on who serves who.

    • Greg January 9, 2018, 8:41 pm

      I agree with you. Keep the guns away from residential areas.

  • Bobs yer uncle October 16, 2017, 10:51 am

    As a casual observer of CA. gun regulation and rules I’m always entertained to watch their dramatic pleas and fund raising efforts, posing with one menacing looking weapon or another that have not done diddly **** to effect crime. For a laugh look up Ca. legislator Yee. Now that they have blocked this business from opening Calif is now safe again.The courts are looking out for you?

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