Residents of a quiet Yucca Valley neighborhood are outraged that their town has issued a permit for one of their neighbors to sell firearms out of his home.
"That was shocking to me that they would allow it," Nalini Maharaj said. "Within feet away of a day care center? A school!?"
Keats Avenue residents are concerned for their safety and their property values if Luke Mintz receives final approval to sell firearms from his home.
Mintz was approved for a Home Occupation Permit to sell firearms from his residence during a Yucca Valley Community Development Department Hearing in April. Concerned residents came together to pay the $720 appeals fee. The appeal will be heard in front of the town planning department on June 11th.
Sharon Green says she would feel very uncomfortable with someone selling guns just steps away from her home.
"I would ask him why he was unable to start a business in town," Green said of Mintz. "Why in a residential neighborhood, and put us at risk. Possible risk."
Contacted by phone, Mintz said his full-time job is the main reason he doesn't want a store front to sell guns. He says he just wants to make a little extra money, and has been approved to be open for business just 12 hours a week. He'll advertise by word of mouth only, and make sales by appointment only.
As for security, Mintz has a fire proof safe, an alarm, and a belief that, "guns make you safer if you have them."
The approved Home Occupation Permit states that Mintz selling firearms from his home will not alter the character of the neighborhood. Neighbors disagree.
"We just all came together and we're shocked that the city would go against us," Wesley Woods said.
In response to our request for an interview, Yucca valley officials pointed out that neighbors concerns will be heard during their appeal to the planning commission on June 11th. No guns will be sold from the home until the appeals process is complete.
The town of Yucca Valley currently has three home occupancy permit's issued for home firearms dealers.