San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo may have just picked a very big fight with his city’s gun stores.
On Tuesday, Liccardo rolled out a controversial proposal that would require those stores to record every transaction; not only capture video but also audio of what buyers are saying.
Gun store owners were already sounding off.
But Liccardo hopes the proposal will help reduce armed robberies and even more violent gun crimes.
A makeshift memorial on Lavonne Avenue in San Jose has stood for nearly four years, a tribute to a victim of gun violence whose killer is still on the loose.
"To hear the cry of a mother that just lost her son is something I don’t think anyone should hear," the Rev. Danny Sanchez said.
Sanchez has counseled dozens of families as a member of the mayor’s gang task force.
"We’re united in an effort to combat gun violence here in San Jose," Liccardo said.
The mayor's proposal also would require gun stores to take continuous stock of their inventory, provide more training for their employees and post suicide prevention signage inside the store.
"A significant percentage of guns are entering our community from legal gun shops and from regulated retail outlets," Liccardo said.
Owners of the Castello Gun Shop in Willow Glen had little trouble finding the words to describe their anger with the proposed changes.
"The mayor of the city of San Jose has a lot to learn about law enforcement," Joe Castello said. "I don’t know if the mayor has heard, but there’s a company out there called the Department of Justice."
Liccardo said if the City Council approves the proposed changes, he expects legal challenges. But he’s hoping the changes will help prevent another cross from going up or another person from staring down the barrel of a gun.