Though legislation from Supervisor Mark Farrell proposing that all gun sales in San Francisco be videotaped has yet to pass, San Francisco's last remaining gun shop isn't waiting to see how things turns out. They'll be closing next month, after over 60 years in business.
We told you about the plight of High Bridge Arms earlier this month: Located near the intersection of Mission and Valencia streets since the mid-1950s, the gun shop's general manager said that Farrell's proposal, which would also require that all gun and ammunition buyers’ names, birthdates, addresses and driver’s license numbers be supplied to the SFPD, would likely prevent even law-abiding firearms users from buying a gun in San Francisco.
“Should this pass, we'll probably close," High Bridge GM Steven Alcairo said.
“What we don’t do is voluntarily give private information to the police department. We just don’t do that. People are very private about their information.”
It appears, however, that Highbridge wasn't going to wait to see what happened with Farrell's proposed legislation, which was introduced only ten days ago. Fox News reported yesterday that the shop will be shutting its doors, instead.
A visit to High Bridge's Facebook page confirms that report, with a post on the auspicious date of September 11 announcing the closure:
Dear friends and family, it's with tremendous sadness and regret that I have to announce we are closing our shop. For many reasons I cannot get into at this moment, it appears our final days will be through to the end of October of 2015. We will clearance out what ever inventory we have in the shop and offer sale prices for anything you would like us to order. This is not a joke. For any of you Vultures, (you know who you are) please don't bother us. For if you do, I give you my solemn promise that we will make it a very unpleasant experience for you. For all our true friends and followers, I would like to sincerely thank you for all your support, likes, positive feedback and best of all, your friendship. Hopefully, we'll see you soon. It has been a long and difficult ride, but a great pleasure to be you're last San Francisco Gun shop. Our warm regards, High Bridge Arms.
And a follow-up post on September 15:
Good morning everyone. Thank you all for the kind words of support and private messages to me. As you could imagine, there are many messages both here and on my personal phone. If I have not returned your call or answered your message, it is simply because of time constraints and not because I'm ignoring you. My phone battery is charged 3 times a day since the announcement. Please understand that while on our own time away from the shop, we'd prefer not to answer questions about the shop or fetch pricing for you. While we appreciate the support, we need our rest and don't really enjoy having to explain our story over and over again. For me, it's demoralizing and puts me in a bad mood. Please respect our personal time. if you choose to give us business on our last days here, we would like to deeply express our appreciation, but again ask that you do not contact us outside of our business hours. More information to come. Thank you all. ~High Bridge Arms
"This time, it's the idea of filming our customers taking delivery of items after they already completed waiting periods," Alcairo told Fox News. "We feel this is a tactic designed to discourage customers from coming to us."
"This year, it's this and next year will probably be something else...We don't want to wait for it."
On his blog, Chris Cheng, a professional sport shooter and the winner of reality competition show Top Shot, mourned High Bridge's passing, saying that "It will be interesting to see if any viable lawsuits come up in the future which argue that San Francisco has a de facto gun ban since it will (soon) have zero gun shops, or something along those lines."
"I'm not a lawyer," Cheng wrote, "but I sense potential for legal action by some organization down the line."
Previously: SF's Last Remaining Gun Shop May Close Over Supervisor's Proposal