Philly.com reports that a group called “Heeding God’s Call” has launched a second protest campaign against a local gun dealer. The paper says some 40 supporters rallied outside the The Shooter Shop in North Philadelphia. Heeding God’s Call justified the protest by citing “a 2004 study that identified the 120 gun dealers in America – out of 80,000 registered sellers – that had each sold at least 200 guns traced to crimes. With 208 traces, the Shooter Shop made its way onto the bottom of this list.” The shop’s attorney countered the group’s assertion. “Dan Del Collo, who was at the protest, dismissed the 2004 study as unreliable. For one thing, he said, it drew on data that were a decade old or more. Del Collo also said a large number of traces could merely reflect sales volume, not reckless sales practices.” Or it could reflect reality. Either way, the event itself was a model of peaceful protest, on both sides . . .
They were met by roughly the same number of shop supporters. “When the antigun advocates from Heeding God’s Call went into silent prayer, the pro-gun folks sang ‘God Bless America.’ When the antigun folks sang a hymn, an opponent shouted, ‘Long live the Second Amendment.'”
Despite the protest’s tame nature, or perhaps because of it, Philly’s gun shops best not underestimate Heeding God’s Call’s political muscle. Bi-weekly protests outside Colosimo’s gun shop may or may not have contributed to the 40-year-old firearm store’s closure. The shop shuttered last year as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, who charged it with selling weapons to gun traffickers. That said, a writer on the PFOA (Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association) forum identified another possible factor contributing to the demise of the protesters’ first target:
On Spring Garden in Philly. I stopped in there today and I have to say thoes people should be put in jail for attempted rape! Their prices were outrageous! I could swear they had a plain jane Sig P239 for like $999!!!! I think I also saw a CZ 75 for like $800! I left in disgust chuckling to myself, but I have to ask. Do people actually pay these prices? Anyway, If you want a good laugh when in the area – stop in there.
Anyway, FYI, here’s a pic of the previous protest at Colosimo’s and Heeding God’s Call’s 10-point [not-so] Voluntary Code for gun stores.
RESPONSIBLE FIREARMS RETAILER PARTNERSHIP:
A 10-POINT VOLUNTARY CODE
The 10 points of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership are:
1. Videotaping the Point of Sale for All Firearms Transactions. Participating retailers will videotape the point-of-sale of all firearms transactions and maintain videos for 6 months to deter illegal purchases and monitor employees.
2. Computerized Prime Gun Trace Log and Alert System. Maors Against Illegal Guns will develop a computerized system that participating retailers will implement over time to log crime gun traces relating to the retailer. Once the program is in place, if a customer who has a prior trace at that retailer attempts to purchase a firearm, the sale will be electronically flagged. The retailer would have discretion to proceed with the sale or stop the sale.
3. Purchaser Declaration. For sales flagged by the trace alert system, participating retailers will ask purchasers to fill out a declaration indicating that they meet the legal requirement to purchase the firearm.
4. Deterring Fake IDs. Participating retailers will only accept valid federal- or state-issued picture IDs as primary identification. Retailers will utilize additional ID checking mechanisms.
5. Consistent Visible Signage. Participating retailers will post signage created by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership to alert customers of their legal responsibilities at the point-of-sale.
6. Employee Background Checks. Participating retailers will conduct criminal background checks for all employees selling or handling firearms.
7. Employee Responsibility Training. Participating retailers will participate in an employee responsibility training program focused on deterring illegal purchasers. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership will create an online training system based on Wal-Mart´s training program.
8. Inventory Checking. Participating retailers will conduct daily and quarterly audits. Guidelines will be based on Wal-Mart´s existing audit procedures.
9. No Sales Without Background Check Results. Participating retailers would prohibit sales based on “default proceeds,” which are permitted by law when background check has not returned a result within 3 days.
10. Securing Firearms. Participating retailers will maintain firearms kept in customer accessible areas in locked cases or locked racks.
Participating retailers will phase in the provisions of
Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership over time.