PLEASANT HILL -- Months after residents objected to an online firearms business operating from a Pleasant Hill condominium, the city is holding a workshop at City Hall at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss gun and ammunition sales in residential neighborhoods.
The Contra Costa Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which seeks a ban on home gun sales, has been pushing city leaders to address the issue since the spring.
"What I'm expecting is that they'll agree to study it and through that study process we think they will come to agree with us about the public safety risk of home gun dealers," said Karen Arntzen, a Pleasant Hill resident and Brady Campaign member.
"Particularly, we want to discuss the issue of selling guns over the Internet, because we believe the city has it wrong."
In October 2011, 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 condominium 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, Firearms and Explosives, and the state Department of Justice, according to Pleasant Hill police.
Tedjakusuma's home occupation permit is for a home office only, and it prohibits him from selling or delivering guns to
Although Tedjakusuma wrote on the permit application that he "will not be a stocking dealer," he can store an unlimited number of firearms inside his home. He also explained he will operate his business by buying a gun from a vendor, listing it for sale on his website and shipping the firearm to a federally licensed dealer who will complete the transaction with the buyer.
The LNC Arms website is still under construction. Tedjakusuma could not be reached for comment so it's unclear if he's selling firearms from his home office. There are three licensed retail firearms dealers in Pleasant Hill -- City Arms East, The Gunworks and Big 5 Sporting Goods.
The council has three open seats and the Brady Campaign endorsed three City Council candidates based on their support for a ban on home gun sales. Of the three, Concord police officer Ken Carlson won and Jim Bonato is trailing third-place finisher Tim Flaherty by 35 votes pending a final tally of the mail-in ballots. Jeremy Cloward did not make or come close to the top three.
Councilman Michael Harris said he hopes people share a range of views at the workshop.
"I want to understand from both sides the rationale for their position. I want to understand from the Brady folks why they believe the home sale of guns is unsafe and I want to specifically understand what aspect of that is a problem," Harris said.
Contra Costa County and several Bay Area cities including Oakland, San Francisco and Richmond have banned home gun sales.
At the urging of Police Chief John Hardester, in April the Pinole City Council banned home occupation firearms dealers. Hardester said houses doubling as gun dealerships become targets for thieves -- a situation he finds especially troubling due to a spike in residential burglaries since last year. From 2007 to 2011, burglars stole 38 guns, according to Hardester.
"I understand that people have the right to possess guns and the right to sell guns but people in a residential neighborhood also have the right to a safe and secure home," he said.
"I think that nobody, nobody including me, presented the case that we shouldn't be selling guns," Hardester added. "It's just that there's a place for it, and that's in a commercial area where you have the proper safeguards."
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.
What: Workshop on firearms and ammunition sales in residential neighborhoods
When: 6 p.m., Thurs.
Where: Community rooms, Pleasant Hill City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane