Founded by Olympic shooter Bob Chow in 1952, High Bridge Arms has been a San Francisco institution for over 60 years. Within the most liberal city in America, High Bridge has stood, perhaps defiantly, as a reminder of northern Californians’ inalienable Second Amendment rights.
Over the years, government overregulation drove every other gun store out of San Francisco, but High Bridge remained. That is, until now. Next month, the shop will be shutting its doors once and for all.
Why is this happening? Are sales lagging? Are guns just that unpopular in such a “progressive” city as San Francisco?
Nope, and nope. High Bridge (which boasts a 4.5 rating on Yelp) is closing for one reason that is singular, simple, and consistent with the disappearance of businesses that don’t comply with the government’s perspective: targeted government overregulation. A recent city council proposal would have required that High Bridge take and preserve video evidence of every gun transaction in the store. Further, the shop would have been required to turn over its customers’ personal data to police on a weekly basis.
Given the stringent regulations already in place, the new rules proved a bridge too far for High Bridge General Manager Steven Alcairo, who remarked, “…This time, it’s the idea of filming our customers… We feel this is a tactic designed to discourage customers from coming to us.”
Alcairo continued, “This year, it’s this and next year will probably be something else… We don’t want to wait for it.”
So, will the absence of gun shops make San Francisco safer? As of July, the city’s homicide rate was up 71% compared to 2014. We’re going to go out on a limb and guess that the closing of High Bridge Arms will do nothing to alleviate this spike in crime. In fact, if other cities’ gun control experiments are any indication, things are likely to get even worse.
As one of the store’s employees told the San Francisco Chronicle, “If you impose all these laws, do you think that’s going to stop a criminal from getting a gun?”
What do you think? Should a major city experiencing a spike in crime take away its citizens’ right to defend themselves, or will this prove to be yet another situation where good intentions end up making everyone less safe? Give it some thought on our page about self-defense and firearms, and let us know what you think at our Facebook page.