While our country grapples with continued chaos from the election, COVID-19, a disrupted economy, and ongoing political violence, the mayor and city council of Littleton, CO has decided what is most important to them is pushing gun stores out of their city. During their February 2, 2021 city council meeting, a “Firearms Retailer Regulations” ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote.
Here’s the TL,DR version:
Beginning August 1, 2021 this ordinance (3-24-1 through 3-24-11 of Littleton city code) creates a new city license that is specific to firearm retailers only. To obtain this new annual license, business owners will be required to lock all firearms in safes during non-business hours, and create new security and storage plans for during business hours. The retailer must develop a safe storage plan that includes how they plan to achieve this, along with a number of other requirements not related to storage, such as alarm systems, disaster planning, training of employees, current floor plans, and inventory (much of what they already do as responsible businesses). This plan must be submitted to and approved by the Littleton Police Department annually. LPD can reject plans and revoke licenses at their discretion when they believe they find inadequacies in the plan. Retailers with revoked or expired licenses must dispose of their inventory according to ATF standards. Firearms disposition records must be available to law enforcement at all times without a subpoena, and law enforcement and other government officials must have access to all areas of the retail location at all times without a warrant. This ordinance makes operating a firearm retail business without this license an “unlawful act” punishable by fines and jail.
So what does this really do?
It creates such expensive and burdensome requirements on the retailers they will be forced to either increase the price of their inventory to such a degree only the wealthy can afford it and making self defense out of reach for lower income people, such as, I don’t know…many single mothers whose most important responsibility is the protection of her children alone. Or the retailers will be forced to move out of the city opening the door to the black markets that always fill these voids.
An important question would be does it even work? The idea that locking guns in safes prevents planned, professional theft is ridiculous. The city elected officials have now created a blueprint for thieves as to how to steal guns in Littleton, they just know they need to take the whole safe now and break into them, as the 16 year old STEM school shooter did before committing his heinous act.
And why target the gun industry solely if this is about saving lives? Let’s look at a pharmacy. They have objects in their possession that can fatally injure or hurt large amounts of people, such a fentanyl which is stealing the lives of teenagers right here in Colorado as I write this. They are highly regulated. And they are often the victim of crime, probably on similar statistics in comparison to gun store robberies, if not more. However, because it isn’t controversial, a left vs right issue, it gets a free pass.
Colorado increasingly continues to see gun control passed at the local city level, as we highlighted back in 2018 when Boulder passed a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and in 2019 Longmont passed a “common sense gun safety” resolution that looked like Bloomberg himself wrote it. Please keep your eye on your city council agendas and if you see anything fishy, alert us immediately.
Please reach out to the Littleton mayor and city council contact with your thoughts. Scroll down for their contact info.
Here are the dirty details about the Littleton ordinance:
Creates a new annual city license all firearm retailers will now be required to apply for (and I’m sure pay for, although a dollar amount is not included in the bill language).
In order to get this license the retailer will need to:
• Develop a plan that addresses the safe storage of firearms during retail hours, after closing, and any off-site storage areas where firearm inventory is maintained. This must include all of the following:
– Securely storing firearms during retail hours, after closing, and in any off-site storage areas in accordance with their new storage requirements set forth in the new Littleton City Code. During non-business hours all firearms must be stored in a locked safe, locked steel gun cabinet, or secured safe room;
– Alarm systems and theft deterrence systems;
– Business practices addressing access to firearms during retail hours;
– Procedures for removing/replacing firearms to show to customers;
– Loss or theft reporting;
– Description of anti-theft measures and practices;
– Disaster plan;
– Structural Security; e.g. physical hardening of the premises which includes but not but not limited to bollards, break resistance windowing, secured bars across windows, locking metal reinforced doors, and reinforced walls;
– Inventory Security;
– Employee Screening; and,
– Employee training and education about licensee’s policy and procedures and loss prevention measures, if applicable.
• Safe Storage Plans must be submitted to the Littleton Police Department for approval on an annual basis. LPD can reject any submitted plans, documenting inadequacies, and if those inadequacies are not addressed and a new plan submitted for approval within 60 days, or if the same plan is submitted, the license will be revoked.
• Retail location must ensure the following practices are implemented within their plans:
– Store all firearms in inventory in a safe, vault, or safe room and in such a manner as to prevent theft or loss.
– Keep all safes, vaults, displays, other equipment, or areas used for the storage of firearms in inventory securely locked or protected from entry, except for the actual time required to remove, replace or show for sale or transfer the firearm(s) in inventory. Trigger locks or similar devices cannot be removed until sale or transfer is completed.
– Keep all locks and security equipment in good working order;
– Prohibit keys from being left in locks and do not store or place keys in a location accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel;
– Prohibit other security measures, such as combination numbers, keys, codes, passwords or electronic or biometric security systems, from being accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel;
– Keep the retail location securely locked and protected from unauthorized entry at all times when closed for business or unoccupied by authorized personnel;
– Ensure inventory records are protected by securing the records after business hours in a location separate from the firearms inventory and only permit authorized personnel or law enforcement to view or handle the inventory records;
– Complete a firearms inventory on a regular basis, no less than once annually. Inventories must be conducted by at least two persons, unless owner operated.
– Keep timely and accurate “acquisition and disposition” records. These records must be made available to law enforcement entities upon request;
– Maintain a disaster plan that adequately ensures the timely securing of firearms in inventory in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The plan must be made available to law enforcement upon request; and,
– Ensure employees with access to firearms in inventory or who otherwise handle firearms in inventory are not prohibited from possessing firearms under State or Federal law.
• If a retail location presents special security issues, such as exposed handling or unusual vulnerability to diversion, theft or loss, LPD may require additional safeguards.
• If a loss, theft or diversion of firearms in inventory has occurred from a retail location, the certified licensee must notify the ATF and law enforcement within 24 hours after the loss or theft is discovered. If any firearms previously reported as lost or stolen are subsequently recovered by the licensee, the licensee must notify the ATF and law enforcement of the recovery.
• Any licensee whose certification is revoked or not renewed must dispose of its entire inventory under conditions approved by the ATF and provide notice to LPD of plan to transfer or otherwise dispose of inventory.
• Retail locations operating in a space that is 5,000 square feet or greater, or maintaining more than 100 firearms in inventory, must provide current copies of floor plans to LPD upon request.
• Retailers must not prohibit members of LPD or other federal, state or local government officials from entering any area of a location if necessary to perform their governmental duties.
Littleton Police Department has put together a long and complicated document to “help” firearm retailers get their plan in place. You can read that here.
If you’d like to express your thoughts and concerns about this heavy handed move by the Littleton mayor and city council while they know people are distracted by many other things, please contact them:
Mayor Jerry Valdes: 303-810-1465 [email protected]
Councilmember Patrick Driscoll: 303-668-7877 [email protected]
Councilmember Karina Elrod: 303-362-3364 [email protected]
Councilmember Carol Fey: 303-795-9350 [email protected]
Councilmember Pam Grove: 303-263-1152 [email protected]
Councilmember Scott Melin: 720-295-5382 [email protected]
Councilmember Kelly Milliman: 720-468-1324 [email protected]
Don’t have time to contact them individually? Here’s a quick copy/paste you can throw into your email client and message them all at once: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]