San Francisco’s only gun shop is set to re-open but not if a nearby neighborhood group has anything to say about it. High Bridge Arms Inc. had been operating legally out of a small storefront near the intersection of Mission and Valencia since the 1950s but closed at the beginning of the year. Renovations have begun under new management and the only thing standing in their way now is a campaign to deny them a zoning permit.
The Northwest Bernal Alliance has been raising awareness and opposition through an e-mail campaign. Neighbor Jaime Ross told ABC7/KGO that she’d rather see a family friendly business that support the community open up.
Not all neighbors disapprove. Jaimee Greanleaf, a bartender next door to the shop, thinks it’s great they are re-opening because it’s a local business “and there’s always cops around”.
The owner originally closed up shop because it was too much work to stay in business. Back in 2007, SF Weekly ran a piece about the extent of the city’s control on the only gun shop in SF. One employee commented on the new gun control regulations by saying “That’s San Francisco. It’s tough. But, if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”
The new manager, Steven Alcairo, seems up for the challenge. When asked about the current opposition he said, “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”.
The permit hearing is scheduled for September 8th. If approved, the owner plans to be back in business before the end of the year.