Pelosi Denies that Regulatory Harassment Closed Last Gun Shop in Her District

'It's a free market'

October 8, 2015

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Thursday that the last gun shop available to her constituents in San Francisco is closing at the end of the month due to a "private sector decision" on the part of the shop’s owners, not a campaign of regulatory harassment against the shop.

"I did see in the news that the shop is closing and it is my understanding that they made a decision, a business decision," Pelosi said at her weekly press conference.

"It was regulations that shut them down," a reporter said.

"Regulations didn’t shut them down," Pelosi said. "They didn’t want to live within the regulations and so they decided to go elsewhere. So that was a private sector decision on their part."

Pelosi said that the gun shop in question, High Bridge Arms, operated in a "free market," a claim brought into question by the heavy gun control measures passed against it over the years.

High Bridge Arms announced in September it would close after local politicians proposed an ordinance that would have imposed additional strictures on the store.

The ordinance would require High Bridge to install video cameras for continuous, motion-activated monitoring of customers and all "places where firearms or ammunition are stored, handled, sold, transferred, or carried." Video footage would have to be stored by the shop for at least one year after it was recorded.

Additionally, the ordinance would require the gun shop to report the name, address, date of birth, driver’s license information, signature, and thumbprint of every customer who purchased ammunition to the San Francisco Police Department.

"This year, it's this and next year will probably be something else," High Bridge Arms manager Steve Alcairo told Fox News. "We don't want to wait for it."

The gun control ordinance was a bridge too far for the small company, which was opened by Olympic pistol shooter Bob Chow in the 1950s. It catered mostly to law enforcement officers and individuals supportive of its struggle against increasingly hostile municipal authorities.

"Buying a gun is a constitutionally protected right. Our customers shouldn't be treated like they're doing something wrong,"  Alcairo said.

Mark Farrell, the member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who proposed the gun control ordinance, denied that the measure was meant to target High Bridge Arms.

"The target of this legislation is not one store in particular," Farrell told a reporter from CBS News.

"But it’s the only store in town," the reporter said.

"Right now it is, but we also heard that other stores were looking to move to San Francisco," Farrell said.

Farrell told CBS he had no evidence that High Bridge Arms was selling firearms to individuals who are not allowed to own firearms.