Chapter 9.26
FIREARMS DEALERS

Sections:

9.26.010    Purpose.

9.26.020    Definitions.

9.26.030    Letter of authorization.

9.26.040    Application for letter of authorization.

9.26.050    Approval by the chief of police.

9.26.060    Denial of application.

9.26.070    Appeal from denial.

9.26.080    Business location and site standards.

9.26.090    Business compliance with state law.

9.26.100    Maintenance and submission of records.

9.26.110    Letter of authorization renewal.

9.26.120    Letters of authorization nonassignable.

9.26.130    Suspension and revocation.

9.26.140    Notification of suspension and revocation.

9.26.150    Hearing on revocation or suspension.

9.26.155    Insurance requirement.

9.26.160    Violations.

9.26.170    Penalties.

9.26.010 PURPOSE.

This chapter is enacted pursuant to state law, as set forth in California Penal Code Sections 12070 and 12071.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.020 DEFINITIONS.

As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:

(a)    “Firearm” means any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is expelled through a barrel by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion. The term “firearm” includes, but is not limited to, (1) the frame or receiver of any such weapon, and (2) any rocket, rocket-propelled projectile launcher or similar device containing any explosive or incendiary material, whether or not such device is designed for emergency or distress signaling purposes. The term “firearm” does not include an unloaded firearm which is defined as an “antique firearm” in Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18 of the United States Code or a curio or relic as defined in Section 178.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(b)    “Clear evidence of his or her identity and age” includes, but is not limited to, a motor vehicle operator’s license, a state identification card, an armed forces identification card, an employment identification card which contains the bearer’s signature and photograph, or any similar documentation which provides the seller reasonable assurance of the identity and age of the purchaser.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.030 LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION.

No person shall engage in the sale, lease, transfer, delivery, advertisement or offer for sale, lease, or transfer any firearm without first obtaining and keeping current a letter of authorization from the local licensing authority.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.040 APPLICATION FOR LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION.

(a)    Each person applying for a letter of authorization under this chapter shall submit an application to the Santa Cruz police department which shall serve as the local licensing agency for purposes of this chapter.

(b)    In order to obtain a letter of authorization from the police department, the dealer must first provide the following to the police department:

(1)    A valid federal firearms license (FFL);

(2)    A seller’s permit issued by the State Board of Equalization;

(3)    A valid certificate of eligibility issued by the Department of Justice;

(4)    A list identifying each employee of the applicant (name, address, date of birth and social security number) who will be engaged in the sale, lease, transfer or delivery of firearms;

(5)    Payment of a nonrefundable administrative fee, in an amount to be established by city council resolution.

(c)    Where the applicant is a corporation, each of the requirements contained in this chapter must be completed and/or adhered to by a legally recognized corporate officer of said corporation. Where the applicant is a partnership, each of the requirements contained in this chapter must be completed and/or adhered to by a legally recognized general partner of said partnership. Both the individual and the corporation or partnership shall be liable for any violation of the provisions of this chapter.

(d)    The application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable administrative fee (in the form of a check or cash) as set forth in the schedule of fees established by city council resolution. Each application shall specify only one location at which the sale or transfer of firearms shall take place. If an authorized firearms dealer changes his or her place of business, an application for the new location shall be submitted, accompanied by a nonrefundable fee (in the form of a check or cash) as set forth in the schedule of fees established by city council resolution. That application shall be considered an initial application and not an application for renewal.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.050 APPROVAL BY THE CHIEF OF POLICE.

The chief of police shall have the authority to approve or disapprove the issuance of the letter of authorization. For the purpose of considering requests for letters of authorization, the chief of police shall apply the minimum standards set forth in this chapter. Factors to be considered by the chief of police in approval or denial of the application for a letter of authorization include, but are not limited to:

(a)    Evidence of the dealer’s compliance with all applicable city, state and federal laws;

(b)    Whether applicant has violated any provisions of this chapter;

(c)    Whether the applicant has made any false statements as to any material fact in applying for the letter of authorization;

(d)    Whether the applicant has done or caused or permitted to be done any act which if done by an authorized firearms dealer would be grounds for suspension or revocation of the letter of authorization;

(e)    Whether the proposed business location and site meet the standards and requirements set forth in Section 9.26.080;

(f)    Whether the applicant or any of applicant’s employees identified pursuant to Section 9.26.040(b)(4) have ever been convicted of a felony. To this end the chief of police or the chief’s designee shall conduct a criminal history investigation of each said applicant and employee. The applicant shall pay all fees incurred by the police department in conducting any such criminal history background investigation.

The letter of authorization shall expire on December thirty first of the year in which it is issued.

(Ord. 2002-31 § 1, 2002: Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.060 DENIAL OF APPLICATION.

If the applicant does not meet all of the written standards, hereinabove set forth, the chief of police shall not issue a letter of authorization to such applicant. It shall be the duty of the chief of police to notify an applicant that his or her application has been denied by serving such person, either personally or by first class United States mail, with a letter setting forth the reason(s) for such denial. The notice, if served by mail, shall be deemed to have been served on the date of its deposit in the United States mail, postage prepaid, to the applicant’s address of record. The notice shall also inform the applicant of his or her right to a hearing before the city council at which time the applicant may appear, with a representative if so desired, and be heard on the matter. The applicant shall also be given notice that any request for a hearing before the city council must be made in writing to the city clerk within ten days after the date on which such notice is served on the applicant.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.070 APPEAL FROM DENIAL.

An applicant whose application has been denied by the chief of police shall have the right to appeal such decision to the city council in the manner set forth in Chapter 1.16 of this code. The city council shall hold a hearing thereon in the manner set forth at Section 1.16.030 of this code.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.080 BUSINESS LOCATION AND SITE STANDARDS.

Any firearms business operating in the City of Santa Cruz shall meet each of the following business site standards:

(a)    The business location must be in compliance with all City of Santa Cruz zoning, building and fire codes and regulations. In addition, any such firearms business shall not be located within six hundred feet of any public or private school in which students aged 18 years or younger are enrolled, within six hundred feet of a childrens’ daycare center licensed by the state of California, within six hundred feet of any city park or playground, within six hundred feet of any high risk alcohol outlet as defined at Section 24.22.437 of this code or at any location within the city’s R-1 zoning districts.

(b)    The business site must be a permanent building having four solid walls and a roof; constructed of wood, metal, cement or like materials and resting on a foundation of cement, stone, brick or metal or similar materials commonly used in the construction of foundations for permanent buildings.

(c)    Building doors and windows must be alarmed with a system of any manufacture which will cause an audible alarm to sound on the exterior of the building or a silent alarm to be sent to a centralized monitoring facility signaling unauthorized entry during nonbusiness hours.

(d)    All inventory of an explosive or flammable nature must be stored in compliance with federal, state of California and City of Santa Cruz fire codes.

(e)    Inventory of firearms must conform to the type of federal firearms license issued to the permittee.

(f)    During nonbusiness hours, all firearms shall be kept in a locked metal cabinet or box, or secured in any other manner which is approved by the chief of police.

(Ord. 2002-31 § 2, 2002: Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.090 BUSINESS COMPLIANCE WITH STATE LAW.

(a)    Any firearms business operating in the City of Santa Cruz shall obey all city, state and federal laws, and specifically shall comply with the requirements of Section 12071 of the California Penal Code, as may be amended from time to time. The requirements of Section 12071 include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)    The business shall be carried on only in the building designated in the firearms license;

(2)    The license or a copy thereof, certified by the issuing authority, shall be displayed on the premises where it can easily be seen;

(3)    No firearm shall be delivered within 15 days of the application for purchase or within such other time period as set forth in Penal Code Section 12071;

(4)    No firearm shall be delivered unless it is unloaded and securely wrapped or unloaded and in a locked container;

(5)    No firearm shall be delivered unless the purchaser presents clear evidence of his or her identity and age;

(6)    No pistol or revolver, or imitation thereof, or placard advertising the sale or other transfer thereof, shall be displayed in any part of the premises where it can readily be seen from the outside;

(7)    No firearm shall be delivered to any person that is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm;

(8)    The authorized firearms dealer shall post conspicuously within the licensed premises the following warning in block letters not less than three inches in height:

IF YOU LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A CHILD, YOU MAY BE FINED OR IMPRISONED, OR BOTH, IF THE CHILD GAINS ACCESS TO AND IMPROPERLY USES, THE FIREARM.

(b)    Through June 30, 2002, no firearms dealer in the City of Santa Cruz shall sell, lease or otherwise transfer a firearm without also selling or otherwise providing with each firearm a trigger lock or similar device that is designed to prevent the unintentional discharge of the firearm. Such device shall be of a type approved by the chief of police or the chief’s designee. The permittee shall advise the police chief of the type of device he or she intends to sell or distribute at the time of application for the permit, renewal of the permit or at any time the permittee desires to change the type of device previously approved by the chief of police. Current permittees shall advise the police chief of the type of device they intend to sell or distribute within thirty days of the effective date of this section.

(c)    Effective July 1, 2002 any firearms business operating in the City of Santa Cruz shall comply with the requirements of Sections 12087 through 12088.9 of the California Penal Code, as may be amended from time to time. The requirements of these sections include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)    All firearms sold or transferred by the business shall include or be accompanied by a firearms safety device that is listed on the Department of Justice’s roster of approved firearms safety devices; and

(2)    All firearms sold or transferred by the business shall be accompanied with warning language or labels: stating that children are attracted to and can operate firearms which can cause severe injuries or death; urging those in possession of firearms to prevent child access by always keeping guns locked away and unloaded when not in use; and warning that if a child obtains and improperly uses the firearm the person responsible for the firearm may be fined or sent to prison. The word “WARNING” on the label shall be preceded by a yellow triangle containing an exclamation mark.

(Ord. 2000-21 § 1, 2000: Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.100 MAINTENANCE AND SUBMISSION OF RECORDS.

(a)    Each authorized dealer shall maintain records of importation, shipment, receipt, sale or other disposition of firearms and ammunition, and shall make such records available at all reasonable times, and shall submit to the licensing authority such reports and information upon reasonable request. The licensing authority may enter the premises (including places of storage) of any authorized firearms dealer during normal business hours for the purpose of inspecting or examining (1) any records or documents required to be kept; and/or (2) any firearms or ammunition kept or stored at such premises.

(b)    The authorized firearms dealer shall notify the Santa Cruz police department in writing within ten days of any change in business location; such relocation shall require a new inspection to ensure compliance with the provisions of Section 9.26.080.

(c)    The authorized firearms dealer shall maintain records of all employees, identifying them by name, address, date of birth and social security number. The dealer shall notify the Santa Cruz police department in writing within ten days of any change in employees and submit the required identifying information for each newly hired employee. Failure to comply with this section shall be grounds for revocation of the dealer’s letter of authorization.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.110 LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION RENEWAL.

Every letter of authorization issued under this chapter shall expire on December 31st of the year in which it is issued. Firearms dealers shall submit an application for renewal in person at least ninety days before the expiration of the license. Firearms dealers who apply for renewal shall be required to meet all standards specified in this chapter. All of the requirements and procedures applicable to new applications shall apply to renewal applications. Each renewal application shall be accompanied by the applicable administrative fee.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.120 LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION NONASSIGNABLE.

Except as otherwise hereinafter provided, no letter of authorization issued under this chapter may be sold, transferred or assigned by the firearms dealer or by operation of law, to any other person or persons. Any such sale, transfer or assignment, or attempted sale, transfer or assignment, shall be deemed to constitute a voluntary surrender of such letter of authorization and such letter shall thereafter be deemed terminated and void.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.130 SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION.

Every letter of authorization issued under this chapter shall be subject to summary suspension and revocation by the chief of police if he or she determines that:

(a)    The authorized firearms dealer has failed to meet any of the requirements specified under this chapter;

(b)    The authorized firearms dealer and/or any employee(s) has violated any of the conditions or provisions of this chapter;

(c)    The authorized firearms dealer and/or any employee(s) has violated any provision of federal or state firearms sales laws;

(d)    The authorized firearms dealer’s federal firearms sales license has been revoked; or

(e)    The authorized firearms dealer has committed any act which could have resulted in the denial of issuance of a firearms license.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.140 NOTIFICATION OF SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION.

It shall be the duty of the chief of police or his or her designee to notify any authorized firearms dealer charged with any violation or misconduct, as described above, by serving such person, either personally or by first class United States mail, with a letter setting forth the particular written standard or condition which has been violated. The letter shall inform such authorized dealer of the right to a hearing before the city council, at which time the authorized dealer may appear with a representative if so desired and be heard in defense of the charges. The authorized firearms dealer shall also be given notice that any request for a hearing before the city council must be made in writing to the city clerk within ten days after the date on which notice is served on the authorized firearms dealer. The suspension or revocation shall be effective on the date the notice is served on the authorized firearms dealer. Such notice, if served by United States mail, shall be deemed to have been served on the date of its deposit in the United States mail, postage prepaid, to the authorized firearms dealer’s address of record.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.150 HEARING ON REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION.

Upon timely receipt of a written request for a hearing, the city council shall hold a hearing at the time and in the manner set forth in Section 1.16.030 of this code.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.155 INSURANCE REQUIREMENT.

Each firearms dealer subject to the requirements of this chapter shall maintain at all times while engaged in said business a policy of public liability insurance. Said policy of insurance shall provide coverage in the amount and to the limits prescribed from time to time by the chief of police in consultation with the city’s risk manager. Any such policy of insurance shall contain an endorsement naming the City of Santa Cruz and its employees as additional insureds and further providing that the insurance policy will not be cancelled without first providing thirty days advance notice to the city. Failure to obtain and maintain insurance as required herein shall constitute grounds for revocation or suspension of the firearms dealer’s letter of authorization.

(Ord. 2002-31 § 3, 2002).

9.26.160 VIOLATIONS.

It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person, corporation, partnership or other entity to operate a retail firearms dealership within the city of Santa Cruz without a valid letter of authorization.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).

9.26.170 PENALTIES.

Any person or entity, whether as principal, agent, employee, or otherwise, violating or causing or permitting the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of an infraction for the first offense, or of a misdemeanor for any subsequent offense(s) occurring within the one year after the first offense. Upon conviction, the person convicted shall be punished in accordance with Chapter 1.08 of this code.

(Ord. 93-06 § 1, 1993).