SAN ANTONIO – A public safety initiative aimed at reducing gun violence has City Council members divided.
District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse pointed to a yearly decline in gun violence in the Alamo City as part of the reason he opposes regulations.
“The problem, though, with regulating gun sales or gun control, is: We don't need it," Brockhouse said. "Let’s not penalize responsible gun owners and gun sellers and make their lives more difficult.”
Under the proposal, gun shops wouldn't be allowed to open within 1,000 feet of a school or church, and they would only be allowed to open in areas designated for general commercial use. Existing shops would be grandfathered in.
District 2 Councilman William "Cruz" Shaw supports the proposal.
"We aren't trying to take guns away from lawful gun owners. Our intentions are solely to address gun violence by looking into any and all possible local angles,” Shaw said in a statement.
Brockhouse and gun rights advocates, including Johnny Castro, who manages A Place to Shoot gun range, see the move as infringing on constitutional rights.
“The criminals are getting the guns somewhere else. This is a waste of resources, taxpayer monies,” Castro said.
District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said the regulations will help protect the city's youth.
"Even though we've had a slight decline in violent crime over the past year there is no doubt that gun violence continues to threaten our community," Sandoval said in a statement.
City staff members are reviewing the proposal and will bring it back to the City Council in the next few weeks. Then the council will decide if it will move forward for a vote.