Thursday, September 9, 2010

San Francisco's High Bridge Arms Can Reopen

Despite hundreds of e-mails and letters opposing the re-opening of San Francisco's only gun store, High Bridge Arms, the Police Department granted them a conditional permit to reopen. The 3-member panel that heard High Bridge's request said that the opponents "had failed to offer evidence backing their assertion that the store brought crime to the neighborhood."

In a post I did on this in August, I noted one of the suggestions for the space was a wine and cheese store or a laundry. In virtually any other city in the world, I'd have said the person making that suggestion was being sarcastic. In San Francisco, they mean it.

The permit does impose some conditions upon High Bridge Arms. They must update their security including increased video surveillance and waist-high crash barriers outside to prevent cars from smashing throught the store's front. High Bridge is also being required to lock up all firearms in a safe outside of business hours as well as require a parent or guardian to accompany those under 18 entering the store. In a bone tossed to the neighborhood on appearance, they can't have any advertising on their display windows.

The owners had no problem with the requirement to update their security. Steve Alcairo, the store's manager, said "It's a fair request. It's about following the letter of the law, and that's what we do."

Despite all the e-mails and letters opposing the re-opening, only 4 people bothered to speak against it at the hearing while 10 spoke for it.

This is pretty typical in my opinion given how easy it is to pop out an email opposing something. However, when it comes down to actually going to a hearing and testifying, it becomes too much trouble. Fortunately, the good guys won this round.

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