San Francisco News

Gun shop hopes to re-open in Mission District

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Currently, there is not a single licensed gun shop in the city of San Francisco. That could change if a well-known business in the Mission District is able to re-open, but some people in the neighborhood are taking dead aim to make sure that doesn't happen.

The remodeling is underway at High Bridge Arms Inc. in the Mission District. If it's finished, it would become the only gun shop in the city of San Francisco. The other part of the job will be dealing with opponents who have just started a campaign to deny a zoning permit.

"They're there, they're out there, and that's fine, it's their right to be that way, and that's OK. But they also have to understand it is also my right to commerce and our right to have and own and operate this business legally," says gun shop manager Steven Alcairo.

There's been a gun shop at the same location on Mission near Valencia going back to the 1950s. The current owner decided it was too much work to stay in business and closed shop at the beginning of this year. Now with a new manager, he wants to re-open, but needs a new permit.

The Northwest Bernal Alliance neighborhood group has kicked off an e-mail campaign to drum up opposition.

"I think if you have a neighborhood with families and children, what needs to be on the street are eyes on the street and family-friendly businesses and things that support a neighborhood. I don't think a gun store supports a neighborhood," says neighbor Jaime Ross.

Folks who work at the bar next door have a different point of view.

"I think it's great. It's a local business and there's always cops around," says Jaimee Greenleaf from the Argus Lounge.

The permit hearing on whether High Bridge Arms can re-open as a gun shop is scheduled for Sept. 8.

The owner would like to be back in business before the end of the year unless opponents stop it.

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