The ordinance was approved by the city council at the behest of a food and agri-business company with warehouses in Lathrop. A spokeswoman says the J.R. Simplot Company, concerned that pigeons might create health problems, couldn't get rid of the loitering birds by conventional methods and firearms is an option of last resort.
The new law, believed to be the first of it's kind in the state, applies to only to registered pest control companies.
Animal Services Director Becky Enneking says applicants for a permit to use firearms will have to provide the city with a good deal of information.
"They're going to have to show us business license permit numbers, fish and game permit numbers, specific types of eradication. Detailed description of what they have done in the past. And methods and substances that they've used."
Before a permit is granted, the police department will scrutinize the extermination plan to ensure public safety isn't jeopardized.
A spokeswoman for the National Audubon Society says shooting pigeons could be a violation of federal law.