How Gun Laws Killed San Francisco’s Last Gun Store

We live in an age where our personal freedoms and privacy rights are falling by the wayside. Sure, part of it is a product of the emergency of new technology — data mining, drone surveillance, nano-cameras, computers that relay our digital footprint — but the other part is, of course, those who are in power and the laws they pass in the name of “public safety.”

Basically, politicians believe that the best way to keep us safe is by making us less free and more dependent on Big Brother. In other words, by limiting what we can do and by knowing what we are doing the government has an easier time controlling us, which is what the ruling class really wants. To draw an analogy, the goal is to put us on a leash, and to make that leash shorter and shorter over time.

To give you a recent example, San Francisco’s Highbridge Arms, the city’s sole remaining gun store, is closing its doors next month because of onerous gun laws that have been introduced by Supervisor Mark Farrell.

Farrell’s proposal would require that all sales of guns and ammo be recorded on video. Not only that, but that the footage of the transaction would have to be turned over to the San Francisco Police within a week of the sale along with the names, addresses and birth dates of the buyers.

To justify this highly intrusive and Constitutionally dubious surveillance practice, Farrell effectively stated the mantra of the modern nanny-state politician, which is that public safety trumps personal freedoms.

“The goal here is not to run anybody out of business,” Farrell told KPIX 5. “But from my perspective, the public safety of San Francisco residents come first.”

“A gun store in San Francisco, it’s not something I’m particularly concerned about,” Farrell added. “I’m first and foremost, and way more than the existence of a gun store, concerned about the public safety of our residents. And if one has to trump the other, I am completely comfortable with that.”

That, my friends, is how liberty dies. Actually, that last sentence implies there is no agency in the death of our freedom, so let me rephrase it and say, that is how liberty is killed! It’s murdered by feckless politicians who are “completely comfortable” with selling our rights down the river to prop up Big Brother and their misguided utopian fantasies.

But what’s really maddening about this whole situation is that as Steve Alcairo, the owner of Highbridge Arms, pointed out, the proposed laws will do nothing to stop bad guys from getting guns, and therefore, nothing to increase public safety. So, not only are these knuckleheads wrong in principle (basic freedoms should never be sacrificed at the alter of public safety), but wrong in practice as well because their policies don’t create the desired results.

“The element we’re concerned with, they don’t shop here. They don’t,” Alcairo said. “I mean you’re going to get video surveillance of people who are coming in here legally buying stuff with their identification, criminals are not doing that.”

With Alcairo now shutting down Highbridge Arms, the city’s 830,000 residents just lost their local gun store. Yeah, residents can go to the surrounding Bay Areas and find another gun dealer. And I’m sure Alcairo will land on his feet. But the larger implication is that big government is winning and small business owners and individuals are losing. We’re losing our rights and our freedoms, and if we’re not careful these efforts to improve public safety could just be the death of us.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • GaShooter March 27, 2018, 11:37 am

    His assertion is incorrect.

    Personal freedom and safety TRUMP so called public freedom and safety.

    The Constitution is designed to restrain government from infringing on American citizens’ individual liberties. And the Constitution only allows states to govern things that are NOT included in the line item restrictions enumerated in the Constitution itself!

  • Andrew N. June 30, 2017, 5:29 pm

    San Francisco, where they wear flowers in their hair and keep their heads up their asses.

  • Linc Q July 29, 2016, 3:29 am

    Good people needs a gun for self defense if criminal have a illegal gun or stolen gun which used for robbing money from store or people .. Calif law very stupid !!!

  • bison guy October 31, 2015, 10:58 pm

    AIDS infected butt sex has killed more SF’ers than legal guns guns ever have.

    • Duganstien July 17, 2016, 11:35 am

      You…… are actually totally right.

  • jms380 October 1, 2015, 3:19 am

    So under Supervisor Mark Farrell’s logic, every person that enters every sex shop, massage parlor, or sex business. All of these people should have the exact same thing done, because eventually 1 Rapist will come through, and you will have your sought after public safety. Oh but I think pervert Farrell likes those business so he will do nothing, but will make law abiding citizens feel like criminals. So they just tried to ban Internet gun and ammo sales, AND IDIOT DE LEO JUST TRIED TO BAN 80% lowers, SAYING THAT’S WHERE ALL THE CRIME WAS COMING from. So if they get their way, you can’t purchase online, but have no brick and mortar option. Buy plenty of 80% lowers in CASH, the gun grab will happen sooner than I thought.

  • jms380 September 30, 2015, 1:04 am

    I cannot wait to get out of CA, and I am taking my money with me. Can we get a terrorist attack on San Francisco already, thousands of homeless, plus people that hate guns. SHOULD take care of all our problems in short order. I am so sick of San Francisco and 9th circuit court of appeals, screwing this country. Thought police, no I am not planning an attack on San Francisco, I wouldn’t waste the ammo.

    • Fatbird January 8, 2017, 4:09 pm

      Do it, left Commiefornia 2 1/2 years ago for a free state, never bben happier.

  • Tom Horn September 29, 2015, 8:35 am

    If this type of stupidity is not soon ended, I see a civil war fast approaching between the Constitutionally abiding, true Sons/Daughters of the Republic, and the hand-fed, robotic, sheeple of the New World Order, their leaders, and there total control, politically correct, “the State will take care for you” agenda.

    I was working at a gun shop during the government created ammo shortage of 2013. We had police officers from several departments coming in trying to buy ammo that was unavailable to them. Yeah, the government is really looking out for our safety.

  • Tim4558 September 28, 2015, 11:46 pm

    Sounds like a perfect candidate for a big headline.
    Last gun shop shut down. No more shootings will ever occur in this city.
    Were wrong, criminals still acquiring guns.
    Bet we will never see that headline !

  • Steven September 28, 2015, 11:06 pm

    California has fallen into a liberal abyss from which it can never escape. Should be quarantined or walled off from the rest of the U.S. .

  • Charles Benjamin September 28, 2015, 4:44 pm

    I am curious, does this clown have a security detail and if does,why? Well, I get it ! He has been elected by Idiots ?

  • 4x49er September 28, 2015, 4:39 pm

    The San Francisco City and County have also closed the Pacific Gun Club to “remove environmental problems caused by target residue”. There is no schedule to reopen this historic lease. The Police range next door is still in operation even though it has the same issues. Do you feel safe now that only the Black Uniformed and Booted Police practice their marksmanship while the Citizens can not purchase defensive weapons, ammo, or train and practice within a Safe Haven County?

  • Sergei A September 28, 2015, 3:07 pm

    Knowing a few people from SF:

    No guns. No bows. No crossbows. No knives. No hunting (only sickos kill cute cuddly animals). No shooting – preferably not even in video games.
    This supervisor only doing what the insane people of SF want (and a couple of gun owners don’t count).

  • Mark September 28, 2015, 3:00 pm

    I wonder if they have video of the ILLEGAL ALIEN that was CONVICTED of 7 FELONIES and DEPORTED 5 TIMES when he got the gun he MURDERED Kate Steinly with? Or was that a breach of his constitutional rights as a CRIMINAL let loose on America by a liberal city bent on disarming law abiding citizens but allow criminal illegals to roam the streets because they don’t want to obey Federal laws that they don’t agree with?
    San Francisco is one huge pile of HYPOCRITE. Try obeying the laws you’re suppose to before you go piling on more UNCONSTITUTIONAL laws on your law abiding citizens. Yes, this pisses me off.

  • Kalashnikov Dude September 28, 2015, 2:30 pm

    The “gun industry” as a whole needs to ignore cities such as this. No jobs from gun manufacturing, no sales, and that means no sales for police, government, or private security. If they want to live without guns, let em. Just make sure nobody has em. That is what they’re saying right? Then watch how well that works for em. Surely their hatred of our 2nd Amendment applies to them too? Because if they’re trying to tell us the police and agents of the government should be the exception………Well that just goes against everything America is. Unfortunately there are too many greedy corporations and individuals who feel they can still profit and they will be happy to supply governments and police with firearms in tyrannous, illegal regimes such as SF, the left coast in general, and back east as well. Personally, I think politicians who go against their oath of office, and try to shove tyranny down the throats of American citizens should be prosecuted for treason serve out long if not life sentences in Guantanamo with the rest of their kind. People with this agenda are evil or stupid. The result of their actions are death and destruction for the people they are charged with protecting. Like being shot to death while on a walk along the pier with your dad………

  • Duane September 28, 2015, 2:01 pm

    If this person, Supervisor Mark Farrell, was so concerned about public safety why doesn’t he propose requiring ALL business to place high quality video surveillance cameras at face level to capture images of crooks instead of law abiding citizens just wanting to buy a firearm?

  • BJ September 28, 2015, 1:39 pm

    When our ability to resist tyranny is taken away(firearms) our will to resist tyranny will evaporate. That’s the agenda.
    170 million people were killed by their own goats last century. Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Rwanda, Cuba, etc. The one consistent action was that before the slaughter, the guns were taken. Think saying “they can have my gun when they pry my dead cold fingers from around it” will save you? They will do that for you. See: Katrina Gun Grab on you tube and see the footage that only one TV station played a small part of, and all the alphabet commie stations didn’t play at all. The little boy who used to mow your grass is now in the military and YES, they will obey orders and stick that auto carbine in your face with no warrant and take your guns-with the slightest excuse. Even broadcasters some think are on our side like Orielly on Fox said, “it was a weather emergency so taking the guns was warranted”. We are being boiled slowly but once they get the guns the heat will be turned up. We even have a avowed socialist(democrat) running for president. God Help Us, America is gone.

  • december September 28, 2015, 12:46 pm

    And that is how liberty dies…..with thunderous applause.

    All in the name of protection.

  • Larry September 28, 2015, 12:20 pm

    We can only hope that Mr Farrell is the very first one who falls when TSHTF in this “gun free” zone that those of us with a brain know is actually a free killing zone.

  • Michael Dugas September 28, 2015, 10:49 am

    This has nothing to do with criminals, guns or self-defense.

    It has everything to do with control; look behind the words to see the true agenda, when the words make no sense.

  • Capt Obvious September 28, 2015, 10:49 am

    They don’t need guns in SF. They’ll just throw their loafers at the attackers and then strangle them with their rainbow colored flags.

  • LAH053 September 28, 2015, 9:53 am

    Here we go again another uneducated idiot pushing his feel good ideas on the general public. This Idiot city will NOT ever recognize that these criminals DO NOT BUY THEIR GUNS AT LEGAL GUNSHOPS!!!!! I guess they do this sort of thing so that the criminal does not have to go far to find their victims and when it suits their twisted purpose rape and murder their victims because the victrims cannot obtain a firearm to defend themselves under the 2nd Amendment. Go forbid a criminal is stopped from his rampage against the public. We just want to feel good about ourselves and screw the general public and that is by protecting the animals that commit these types of crimes. Well I hope the next victim sues that crap out of the city for denying them their rights of self defense under the 2nd Amendment.

  • Jerry September 28, 2015, 9:31 am

    What the f–k is a supervisor and why does have such influence over a LEGAL business? Sounds like the people in SF just lost their right to defend themselves from the criminals that should be the focal point of this supervisor’s concern.

  • Ru k September 28, 2015, 9:11 am

    When people give up their rights for security. They deserve neither freedom or security.

  • Griffendad September 28, 2015, 9:04 am

    What could be next? Lets fingerprint, swap a cheek for DNA, retina scan, blood sample, urine sample and a quick prostate check.
    Sounds like entering prison to me. Only thing missing is taking away your right to VOTE….

    • Dr Motown September 28, 2015, 9:26 pm

      Shaming legal gun owners by releasing their names, purchases, and videos of them inside the store will happen next. You really don’t want to go to a dentist that owns guns, do you? Or vote for a politician who does?

  • DanF. September 28, 2015, 8:59 am

    And all this from the city that gave us (albeit many years ago) the nation’s first Committee of Vigilance because cops were corrupt or not around and Dirty Harry. San Francisco has gotten far too prissy. No big surprise, though. The same city gave us Dianne Feinstein and Nancy (You’ve got to pass the Obamacare bill to find out what’s in it) Pelosi.

  • Nik September 28, 2015, 5:43 am

    Farrel presumably is as dilligent and meticulous with other possible causes of citizen injury, ie bicycles, cars, motorcycles etc, and requires video footage of their sales. If not, why not? Why has he not been sued for that lapse yet? That is how you deal with these people, you force THEIR principles down THEIR throat.

  • DRAINO September 26, 2015, 7:03 am

    Yeah, kinda seems like these liberal/socialists almost want the chaos that will take hold when the criminal element understands that they have big cities full of targets…..unarmed targets…..cities where it may even become illegal to physically protect yourself because you may infringe on a criminals right to do something illegal. That way they can proceed to making this country into a police state, which I truly believe is a goal of the “ruling” class. Hmm……seems like a step back to mid-evil times to me…with a few modern conveniences…..But none that will keep you from being murdered/raped. This madness is really sickening. Wake up, America!!!!

    • Steven September 28, 2015, 10:56 pm

      Wake up, Young Americans!!!! Many are being, or have already been brainwashed into believing that ” socialism isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be ” (quoting a co-worker).. Either willing to, or just too dumbed down to notice their rights being taken away piece by piece

    • Acecool November 25, 2016, 8:57 pm

      Too late… Criminals have already successfully sued their victims because they cut their hand on glass they broke, or because they were run over while trying to steal parts off a car, and hid under the car when the owner came out to leave ( as was routine )…

  • SuperG September 25, 2015, 12:10 pm

    From the book “Regrets”, to be published sometime in the future.
    “My wife and I were in the living room, watching TV. We heard glass breaking in the kitchen, and we gave each other a puzzled look. I grabbed the baseball bat I always keep handy, you know “just in case” and headed to the kitchen. As I entered I was confronted by 3 men. I took a swing at one but was quickly overpowered. Now, as I sit here, duct tapped to a chair, watching my wife being brutalized in front of me, I understand that not having a gun to defend my family with was pretty stupid.”
    -Supervisor M.F.

  • Mike September 25, 2015, 6:27 am

    My beloved Kimber Custom II .45 came from this shop.
    Is there any evidence that even one firearm purchased from this shop was ever used in any crime? When I lived in the area and bought my Kimber there, they were very definitely a “by the book” outfit.

  • Mark N. September 25, 2015, 2:02 am

    This proposed law–which would have undoubtedly passed despite being nothing but security theater–was merely the last straw. After a fire, SF did everything it could to keep the store from re-opening, trying to zone it out of existence and trying to get its neighbors to protest the issuance of a business license (which they most assuredly did NOT). Faced with the inevitable, the City imposed safe storage requirements during the hours the shop was closed, and limited the number of rounds it could keep on hand for retail sale. There may have been other restrictions as well., all intended to make it impossible for the business to run profitably. The suggestion that Farrel had no problem with a gun store in city limits is simply fallacious, particularly when combined with the fact that the City is trying to shut down (may have already shut down) the last shooting club in city limits, and will probably attempt to impose the requirements of this new ordinance on the big annual gun show at the Cow Palace (which is not in City limits, but is run by the city).

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