Alameda County may have shot itself in the foot, according to a trio of would-be gun dealers denied a chance to open a gun shop in San Lorenzo.
Backed by gun lobbying groups, the disgruntled combo has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging Alameda County changed zoning laws at will to prevent their gun shop from opening.
John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gary Gamaza said they had already converted a store after complying with the city’s regulations that it be built 500 feet from the nearest home, liquor store or school.
After they got a conditional use permit for Valley Guns and Ammo in December, they say the zoning board unfairly changed the game on them.
The county changed its requirements so that the 500 foot requirement had to be measured from the front door of the nearest home to the closest part of the building that would become the gun store.
That part of their building happened to be a brick wall, sans entryway, said the lawsuit. The county Board of Supervisors revoked the zoning permit for the store in February.
The men allege that this was a ploy by the city to deny them Second Amendment rights. The suit seeks unspecified damages for this claim.
County Counsel Donna Ziegler defended the city’s actions, saying that it took the appropriate course of action in compliance with the city’s regulations.
The suit also alleges that the county allowed the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association to file an objection to the store after the deadline to do so had passed. The director of the association did not comment on the accusation.
Nobriga, 64, of Manteca told the Chron the county is just making excuses:
“I really think they pulled a fast one on us. We’re there to do a service for the community.”