Gun store owner calls planned protests unfair

The owner of Delia’s Gun Shop in Northeast Philadelphia says a new grassroots gun-control group is unfairly targeting his business.

The Neighborhood Partners to End Gun Violence (NPEG), an interfaith organization based in Northwest Philadelphia, recently announced it plans to hold regularly scheduled protests outside of Fred Delia’s store.

This after Delia refused to adopt and post a 10-point code of conduct created by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition. A non-binding code NPEG hopes will ensure that any guns purchased at Delia’s will be done by the book.

“I feel we’ve been doing our job for 41 years, why would I have to sign something?” said Delia.

In particular, he said many of the requests included in the code of conduct are unreasonable, but also unnecessary and redundant.

Delia told NewsWorks he follows the state’s gun laws and already complies with all gun-control directives handed down from government agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the city’s Gun Violence Task Force.

“As long we abide by all of the laws, what more could I do?” said Delia. “We bend over backwards for these people.”

The code, most notably adopted by Wal-Mart, asks stores to videotape all transactions, run criminal background checks on all employees and keep better track of inventory, among other things.

When asked about the planned protests, Delia said he hopes NPEG doesn’t go through with them, but he won’t do anything to stop them if they do.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” said Delia.

But he added, “I don’t tell them how to run a church. I don’t know why they’re telling me how to run a gun shop.”

NPEG’s demonstrations will begin Feb. 21 (Date change made by NPEG) Feb 22 between 4:30-5:30 p.m. They will continue at the same time each first and third Mondays (Date change made by NPEG) Tuesdays of the month until Delia endorses the code of conduct for gun retailers. The goal is not to shut down the shop, though this model, championed by Heeding God’s Call, did help bring about that action in 2009 at Colosimo’s Gun Shop in Philadelphia.

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