Moral Low Ground

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San Francisco’s Last Gun Store Is Closing

High Bridge Arms, San Francisco's last gun store. (Photo: Victorgrigas/Wikipedia)

High Bridge Arms, San Francisco’s last gun store. (Photo: Victorgrigas/Wikipedia)

The last gun store in San Francisco is going out of business, citing vocal local opposition to its existence and an increasingly onerous gun control regimen as the top reasons for closing up shop.

The Associated Press reports High Bridge Arms manager Steve Alcairo said the store, which has been operating since 1952, will close on October 31. Alcairo said the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back came in July when city Supervisor (councilman) Mark Farrell asked the City Attorney’s office to start drafting legislation that would tighten San Francisco’s already strict laws regulating the sale and possession of firearms. Under the new measure, High Bridge Arms would be forced to video record every gun sale and submit a weekly report of ammunition sales to the police.

“Even though San Francisco has some of the toughest gun control laws on the books in the country, there is more we can do to protect the public,” Farrell, who represents San Francisco’s wealthy 2nd District, told CBS San Francisco. “Easy access to guns and ammunition continue to contribute to senseless violent crime here in San Francisco and across the country.”

But those tough gun control laws, coupled with an atmosphere in which many residents of the famously progressive city have expressed strong opposition to the presence of what some have called “death merchants,” have proved too much for High Bridge Arms to bear.

“I’m not doing that to our customers,” Alcairo said of the video recording proposal. “Enough is enough. Buying a gun is a constitutionally protected right. Our customers shouldn’t be treated like they’re doing something wrong.”

Current San Francisco firearms laws regulate the safe storage of firearms, ban certain types of ammunition, prohibit anyone under 18 years of age from entering gun stores and restrict stores from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, day care providers, community centers and other locations.

In 2008, a state appeals court struck down a voter-approved ban on the private ownership of handguns in San Francisco, citing state laws prohibiting cities from restricting handgun possession in homes, businesses and private property.

San Francisco will now become the largest US city without a gun shop.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 33,636 gun deaths in the United States in 2013, including 11,208 firearm homicides.

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