Imagine you have a business that is targeted by criminals over and over again, and the sheriff decides to fight crime by shutting down your business. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Yet one New York gun store owner had just that happen recently after being the latest of a series of burglaries.
A New York Sheriff’s office has forced a gun store to close and has seized hundreds of firearms after the store was recently burglarized for the seventh time in eleven years.
“This is a persistent problem. For more than a decade the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has attempted to work with the owner to improve security for his facility,” said Sheriff Todd Baxter. “Failure to properly secure this store has resulted in a tremendous threat to the safety of the people of this county.”
“With the number of burglaries and the number of firearms stolen out of this location,” Chief Deputy Michael Fowler added, “it’s obviously creating a risk to public safety that we can’t let continue. We have to do something, this situation cannot continue.”
In two burglaries since August 11, between 45 and 50 firearms have been stolen from Chinappi’s Gun Shop in Parma, New York, according to local media. Since 2007, approximately 82 firearms have been stolen from the same location.
The Sheriff’s office worked with Monroe County Judge Vincent Dinolfo to obtain a business cease and desist order to shut down the shop. Deputies then seized the entirety of the store’s inventory, including “many” pallets of ammunition. The firearms are being held by law enforcement until they can create a “safe situation” for the community.
I’m sorry, but this is stupid.
I mean, I get where the sheriff is coming from, but if the owner of the store was following the law, he shouldn’t be getting punished for being the victim of a crime. If the sheriff thinks the law is insufficient, he should exercise his platform as sheriff to lobby for changes he thinks would reduce the break-ins.
Either that or his department could I don’t know, keep a tighter eye on the store if they know it’s a preferred target. I’m just saying.
Regardless, this is nothing more than a case of victim-blaming. The store has been targeted eight times in eleven years, which I agree is ridiculous, but unless you can show a law the owner was breaking, I’m just not seeing any legitimate grounds.
For gun owners, thankfully, there are other options for purchasing firearms and ammunition in Monroe County.
That doesn’t help the owner of Cinappi’s Gun Shop, though. I sincerely hope he files a lawsuit to get his store reopened and to get his inventory back. Frankly, I don’t like the precedence of this in the least. After all, how long before sheriff’s start doing this on a regular basis, just because they don’t think the stores are doing something he believes they should be.
That said, gun stores should also be aware of this as a possibility, though, and take every effort to secure their inventory from theft. No one wants to see this happen again, and no one wants guns in the bad guys’ hands. Securing inventory just makes sense.
But that’s no ground for a seizure of inventory like this. No grounds at all.