Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 2, 2017

The business end of a bayonet

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:29 am

Before I dive into anything local politic-y I wanted to first say, “happy new year” hopefully this year will be better than the last. *fingers crossed*  Second I wanted to thank everyone who has donated, so far, to the Ruby Bridges Fifth Grade Science Camp Go Fund Me campaign. The generosity of the community thus far has been overwhelming and the parents, like me, who have been organizing the fundraising efforts to ensure that every fifth grader, regardless of their family’s ability to pay, will be able to attend the camp are so grateful for this outpouring of support.  So far, the campaign has raised enough to help 12 fifth graders get to camp.  Right now we’re only $185 away from being able to subsidize a 13th student.  Every little bit helps and every little bit adds up.

But now, on to the City Council agenda.  Maybe after the next meeting I’ll write about the last City Council meeting of the year which had the sanctuary city Council Referral on the agenda.

However wanted to point out that it appears that the second bias related incident at Edison was revealed during the public comments at that last City Council meeting.  It was a very short reference and, honestly, when I had read the correspondence from the principal to the community about the incident I didn’t think it was going to be as targeted as it actually was.  The way it was phrased could have been construed as a coincidence that the students who was exposed to the language would feel offended by the language.  As though the perpetrator simply picked any book to write the offending language in and the book happened to be read by someone who felted targeted by the language.  Turns out the language was a bit more targeted than that and riffed on some of the sentiments that have been expressed at schools around the country student to student.  Which was that the student and student’s family would have to move out now because of their ethnicity and who will be president of the United States.  More on the sanctuary city Council Referral stuff in another post.

Anyway, tomorrow’s City Council agenda has an item that I’m pretty torn about which involves Auctions by the Bay.   Auctions by the Bay wanted to amend its lease to include the sale of antique and collectible guns.  At first I said to myself, meh, that’s okay I guess.  But then I read about the possible repercussions of allowing that amendment and I was less “that’s okay” and more, yeah, maybe not.

From the City Council summary it appears that staff did not want to make this policy decision themselves (smart) so they brought it to the City Council.  They offered two options for the City Council which were (1) deny, and (2) approve with conditions.  The conditions were all pre approved by Auctions by the Bay with exception to a few.

The first condition that Auctions by the Bay did not approve was the requirement that the guns be older than 50 years.  Auctions by the Bay wanted the age of “antique and collectible guns” to be older than 20 years.  Personally, I think it’s hard to argue that a gun manufactured in 1996 is “antique.” “Collectible” maybe.  When I first thought of “antique and collectible guns” my mind immediately went to old timey looking guns of the variety used in Westworld or a bayonet or something.  Not guns like this 1996 model. Or this 1996 laser thingie.  Or this 1996 model. Or this one. This. This. This lady one (the pink pouch means it’s for girls.)  This.  Anyway you get the idea.

Now to gun collectors or folks with a high level of familiarity with firearms the examples probably look fairly ancient.  But for those of us whose only familiarity is watching people on television or in movies handle firearms these are intimidating bullets-that-can-kill-me containers.  Aka scary scary things.

But this point presented by staff is probably the most reasonable reason to not allow the sales: the potential snowball effect:

The City of Alameda prohibits gun shops in the Park and Webster Street commercial zoning district (C-C), except that a sporting goods retailer can use up to 5% of its retail floor area for gun sales with a use permit.  The proposed lease amendment includes a condition consistent with the 5% standard.  Due to the larger buildings at Alameda Point, 5% translates to approximately 4,350 square feet of floor area for the sale of guns and firearms at the Auction House.   Further, if the Council approves the Tenant request for up to four gun and firearm sale events annually without this 5% floor area restriction, this approval may result in other retailers requesting an exemptions from the 5% limitation.

If the City Council decides to approve the request, because Auctions by the Bay is not a sporting goods retailer it is unnecessary to abide by the 5% standard.  Drop the square footage to an approximation of how much floor space is used by existing retailers.  Also I wouldn’t have an age range aka older than 50 years, I would put in the actual year of manufacture that the firearms must be older than.  When the lease comes up for renewal the manufacture year can be adjusted with the terms of the lease.  50 years sounds old but what you’re looking at for this year are firearms manufactured in 1967.  This page covers what some of those “antiques and collectibles” look like.  It’s not a coincidence that the advertisements presented in the packet show slightly rusted antique-y looking guns and not the 1967 – 1996/7 manufactured firearms.


  1. Even 50 years is not enough. How about 100? Although World War I vintages can still be lethal, their age and cost would make them less likely to be used in a street or domestic shooting.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — January 2, 2017 @ 7:08 am

  2. My Colt Python — a work of art in a lethal weapon — ( was manufactured and purchased in 1965, but to refer to it an an “antique” seems a little denigrating. I would think “black powder” or “muzzle-loading” would be better qualifying criteria for antique status than an arbitrary number of years.

    Comment by Tom — January 2, 2017 @ 7:36 am

  3. The 20 year limit is what exists in the other welcome ventures of Mr. Michaan, such as the monthly Antiques Faire.

    The very nature of the auction business model is to curate the sales for the highest value, and it does not make sense to sell cheap crappola – the curated Antiques Faire is an example. Larger spaces means higher overhead, and therein more incentive to target a price point that excludes these commonly available models.

    Most importantly, this is a family business, highly connected to our community, and invested in Alameda Point like no other entity. Gun sales are regulated by layers upon layers of government, there is no specific risk posed to our community, and great benefit from the sales tax revenue. Alameda Point is an excellent alternative to the Webster and Park Street commercial zones; we need to make use of Alameda Point to pay for the needed infrastructure, we know and are familiar with the applicant, and the slippery slope argument is the refuge of Nimby.

    Comment by Bart — January 2, 2017 @ 8:34 am

  4. This needs to be a hard no from our council, and we need to send a clear message so it doesn’t come up again. “Antique and collectible” is a way to telegraph that it’s a classy gun show, but it’s still a gun show. Before my conservative friends get in my grill: I don’t have gun panic, not advocating for a ban on firearms. But Alameda doesn’t need to be the gun show island. You tried it, Antiques by the Bay.

    Comment by Gaylon — January 2, 2017 @ 8:35 am

  5. Under Title 18, Section 921(a)(3) of the United States Code, “antique firearms” are specifically excluded from the definition of “firearm” as follows:

    “The term ”firearm” means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.”

    Title 18, Section 921(a)(16) then defines “antique firearm” as follows:

    “The term ‘antique firearm’ means –

    (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and
    (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica –
    (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
    (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.”
    A “destructive device” according to Title 18, Section 921(a)(4) is…

    Comment by jack — January 2, 2017 @ 9:39 am

  6. Under 27 CFR §478.11, defines Curio or Relic (C&R) firearms as those which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons and “were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date [i.e., 1966].”

    Comment by Richard Hausman — January 2, 2017 @ 1:50 pm

    • And that’s where the robber meets the scam. US Code is the actual law while CFR is the bureaucracy interpretation of the law which can wordsmith the written law into the opposite meaning intended.

      Comment by jack — January 2, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

      • Well, not quite. The CFR is the respective Federal agency establishing rules to put a law into effect. While some may disagree with the effect of those rules, courts make a final determination. Note that the process of establishing those rules includes publication of the proposed rules, a period for comments and participation in the decisionmaking, and adoption and publication of the final rule, in the Federal Register.

        Comment by Richard Hausman — January 2, 2017 @ 10:48 pm

        • Have you ever worked in a federal agency?

          Comment by jack — January 3, 2017 @ 9:30 am

        • Yeah, that “participation in the decisionmaking” doesn’t always work as you would expect. I have made comments on several proposed Federal rules. E.g. the recent up-scheduling of hydrocodone combination products. The bulk of the original comments were against the proposed rule, from chronic pain patients & physicians who prescribe these drugs. When things didn’t go the government’s way, the comment period was extended so that the comment section could be packed with comments favoring the rule. Most of the newer comments were from people who had no experience with prescribing or with chronic pain. The result: chronic pain patients cannot get the opioids they need to function, and physicians are afraid to prescribe the drugs at all. But the rate of death from opioid abuse continues to climb.

          The loudest lobbyists get the rules they want. “Public comment” is lip service to transparency.

          Comment by vigi — January 3, 2017 @ 10:21 am

  7. I’m gonna take a wild guess, this council will not approve this agenda item. For me that will be just fine.

    Comment by John P. — January 2, 2017 @ 2:40 pm

  8. I’m uncomfortable with this myself. I hope the council votes no on this one.

    Comment by Karen — January 3, 2017 @ 7:04 am

  9. I’m confused. I’m not at all interested in promoting gun sales, but I recognize there is a huge difference between something made prior to 1898 and something that is 50 years old. The lease amendment specifically refers to allowing them to sell antiques, as defined by Title 18, Section 921(a)(3) – anything made before 1898. Where did this language about anything 50 years old or older come up?

    Comment by notadave — January 3, 2017 @ 2:22 pm

  10. If they wanna sell “antiques,” go ahead. If they wanna sell cool guns w/ a little grey in the temples… nope.

    Comment by BMac — January 3, 2017 @ 6:24 pm

  11. I have a question Ms Do, and I think this Post title kinda fits the subject and you’d be the perfect person to explain the workings of the Democrat’s mindless.

    Jerry Brown recently signed a Democrat sponsored law: Beginning next week, prostitution by minors will be legal in California. Yes, you read that right. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution. Now mind you pedophilia will still be a crime:
    While minors will be exempt from criminal charges under the new law, anyone caught engaging in acts with them will still be subject to prosecution since sex with a minor is considered statutory rape.

    My question is: If it’s fine and dandy that the age barrier be removed for prostitution (and god knows everybody has to make a living) why would the Democrats not remove the age barrier for their customers? I mean eliminating all the potential customers for these entrepreneurial lasses/laddies and shrinking their customer profile to underage boys/girls seems like a real hindering of the marketplace.(course Democrats are always good at that sort of thing).

    Anyhow as a true Democrat thinker I thought maybe you could shed a little light on the subject.

    Comment by jack — January 5, 2017 @ 9:34 am

    • Pants On Fire for claim California legalized child prostitution

      The logic is that minors involved in prostitution are, more likely than not, victims of sex trafficking. Just like minors are not trusted to vote or join the military or even have consensual sex until they reach the age of consent (18) they probably didn’t make the decision to sell their bodies for money with any sort of “reasonableness.” So decriminalizing it will allow minors to get the help they need as opposed to being thrown into juvenile detention or worse.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 5, 2017 @ 9:48 am

      • “The law, in fact, includes provisions that officers who encounter these minors shall report the circumstances to the county child welfare agency as abuse or neglect. It also authorizes officers to take a minor engaged in a commercial sex act into temporary custody under some circumstances, including in the event of immediate physical danger or when medical care is needed.”. So who exactly is going to be charged with the “abuse or neglect”? Their parents [who are probably in another state and don’t know where their runaway kid is]? Sex trafficking is already illegal. How is this going to “get them the help they need”? All this law does is reclassify a crime under a different heading. Like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

        Comment by vigi — January 5, 2017 @ 11:10 am

    • Jeez, Jack, you might do a little, indeed very little, fact checking before posting some nonsense. Lauren posted one truth-to-nonsense article, here’s another:

      Comment by rmhausman — January 5, 2017 @ 10:10 am

  12. last year my father-in-law gave our sons a pair of dueling pistols his uncle had pulled from a pile of scrap metal. They aren’t as old as the one that felled Hamilton, but really crude old things. flint lock. Maybe that should be the standard. Can’t be fired.

    Comment by MI — January 6, 2017 @ 1:10 pm

    • and yes there was a bit of humor in giving the guns to a pair of siblings.

      Comment by MI — January 6, 2017 @ 1:11 pm

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