Due to the political climate of increased gun control regulations and vocal opposition to owning firearms in San Francisco, the city’s last – and only – gun store will be closing its doors later this month for good.
On September 11th, the manager of High Bridge Arms, Steve Alcairo, announced on the business’ Facebook page:
“It’s with tremendous sadness and regret that I have to announce we are closing our shop. It has been a long and difficult ride, but a great pleasure to be your last San Francisco gun shop.”
Controversy concerning this move has been strong to the very end.
According to Alcairo, the decision to close the store came this summer after a local politician proposed a law that would require the gun store to video record every sale and submit a weekly report of ammunition sales to the police. If passed, the law would join several local gun control ordinances on the books in a city still affected by the murder of eight in a downtown high-rise which took place in 1993. The assassination of Mayor George Moscone and gay rights activist Harvey Milk, which took place in 1978, still stings the public, as well.
But regardless of previous events, Alcairo says that he would rather close shop than treat customers in such rigid manner.
“I’m not doing that to our customers. Enough is enough,” Alcairo said. “Buying a gun is a constitutionally protected right. Our customers shouldn’t be treated like they’re doing something wrong.”
ABC News reports that the announcement has rallied an outpouring of sympathy and anger from online gun enthusiasts. But mourning can only last so long; a number of customers are also eager to take advantage of going-out-of-business prices.
For years, the High Bridge Arms gun store has stood proud and strong amidst mounting restrictions imposed by local lawmakers and voters. However, the immense pressure has finally proven to be too much.
The gun store will close October 31st of this year.
While Supervisor Mark Farrell has undoubtedly received heated criticism for introducing the latest bill to help police combat violent crime in the city, he stands strong in his resolution. “Anything that makes San Francisco safer, I support,” he said.
As the bill hasn’t even been voted on, Farrel finds it “comical” that the High Bridge is blaming its closure on a proposed law still months away from taking effect.
Alcairo notes that the proposed bill slowed sales, causing him to lay off three clerks this summer; in his mind, closing the store seemed inevitable.
Angry and frustrated with the city of San Francisco, Alcairo told ABC News:
”This is the city that defended gay marriage and fights for unpopular causes like medical marijuana. Where’s my support?”
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