Thursday night at City Hall was standing-room-only as citizens came to hear Mr. Brandon Varise and his firearm experts present information about his proposed sporting goods store and his desire to have an indoor gun range as part of it. Mr. Varise seemed genuinely surprised when an overwhelming number of citizens opposed a gun range in Downtown Martinez. He stated that he “… only received 31 negative e‑mails” and “… thirty-one out of a 36,000 population… “ shows there is not opposition. Mr. Varise is wrong about that.
Many citizens have not heard about this proposed gun range. A zoning amendment from the Planning Commission is required to allow it. Then it goes to City Council. It is not too late to express your opposition to a gun range in Downtown Martinez. E-mail our Mayor and Councilmembers. (I did!) Get their e-mail addresses from the City website at Cityofmartinez.org or check out your Gazette, which usually lists them in the Sunday edition. The gun range issue is supposed to come up at the Planning Commission sometime in July, so don’t delay.
We learned that Mr. Varise already has the necessary permits/licenses to sell firearms and ammunition at the proposed store. Do we need a gun range too? I think not! Downtown Martinez is not the place for an enterprise such as a gun range.
Mr. Varise was passionate that a retail sporting goods store with gun range, such as a Cabella’s/Bass Pro Shops or Dick’s Sporting Goods, was his dream.
Dreams are a wonderful thing, Mr. Varise.
My dream is to have a gun-range-free Downtown Martinez!
– Ginger Ogden, Martinez