Tiny gun shop opens in NYC, salesman stuns customers with sales pitch
LOWER EAST SIDE (PIX11) -- It was the tiny gun shop that surfaced on the Lower East Side last week geared toward helping first time gun owners.
Its shop owner, however wasn't really concerned with making any sales especially when you consider his chilling sales pitches.
"This is a .22 caliber, 6″ revolver," he tells a customer. "It's also a gun that a 5-year-old found in his parents bedroom went and shot his 9-month-old baby brother with it."
The would-be gun owner is stunned.
If you realized it by now, the gun shop not so much a gun shop but a social experiment orchestrated by the States United Against Gun Violence organization. "The goal really was to inform and educate people who are thinking of owning a gun to think twice about that decision," Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, told PIX11 News.
According to Barrett, the bold ad was in response to a newly released poll that showed less than half of Americans support stricter gun laws. "Eighty-eight people a day die from gun violence in the United States," she said. "Two-thirds of those are suicides. This is a public health crisis and we need people to treat guns as the lethal weapons they are."
The shop which was opened for just two days, was outfitted with nearly 100 authentic-looking yet fake prop weapons. All unloaded. The participants, according to Barrett, were all genuinely in the market for a gun.
While the organization's point was an eye-opener, it was lost on some including the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
"Even if they were props, in New York City its against the law to possess or have for sale any kind of cloned [gun] toy," NYSRPA President Tom King told PIX11 in a phone interview. "I think its a felony."
The SUAGV insists the store was not operational and was filmed in a controlled environment, adding that an NYPD official was on the scene during the entire production.
"Owning a gun is a very serious undertaking and if you must own one you need to know the facts," Barrett said.