Florida Pawn Shop Owner Says Enough With Selling Guns (VIDEO)

Frank James poses with an AR-15 - the type of gun used in the Newton massacre

Frank James poses with an AR-15 – the type of gun used in the Newton massacre

Frank James of Seminole, FL made his living in part by selling guns. He owns a pawn shop. Despite the fact that the decision could put him out of business, James has stopped selling guns.

James has a young child and after the Newtown massacre, he simply couldn’t live with the idea that he might one day sell a gun to a mass killer. From ABC Action News:

“I basically broke into tears and looked up on the wall, seeing the types of firearms I am selling,” James said.

“I’m not going to be part of it anymore,” James said. He has several copies of the exact rifle suspected in the massacre.

James was a gun supporter, which is no surprise. It was how he made much of his money. In fact, he said he doubts he will be able to stay in business, but the risk of selling guns is just too great.

He dropped his six-year-old daughter off at school on the morning of the shooting. After hearing about the shooting, he said:

“That was enough for me. Conscience wins over making money.”

Here’s the video:

James isn’t alone. Dick’s Sporting Goods has stopped selling many rifles. The largest gun conglomerate, Cerberus Capital Management, is selling off their gun division, “Freedom Group.”

Another Florida retailer, the Bill Jackson’s Shop For Adventure, is thinking of discontinuing its gun sales. From the Tampa Bay Times:

Decisionmakers at the outfitter, with its own gun department and firing range, disagree over whether to continue or suspend gun sales, said vice president Darry Jackson, the founder’s son.

‘We’re all torn on the subject. We can’t come to an agreement. All this is so new,” he said. “Everybody’s pretty passionate in what they believe in.” Questions of where and when to sell guns could take center stage in Florida, home of more concealed weapons permits than any other state. This week the state will issue its millionth active permit, which requires a background check, a class and $112 in fees.

The tragedy in Connecticut hasn’t swayed gun buyers. From the Associated Press:

The phones at gun shops across the country are ringing off the hook. Demand for firearms, ammunition and bulletproof gear has surged since the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 schoolchildren and six teachers and administrators. The shooting sparked calls for tighter gun control measures, especially for military-style assault weapons like the ones used in Newtown and in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting earlier this year. The prospect of a possible weapons ban has sent gun enthusiasts into a panic and sparked a frenzy of buying at stores and gun dealers nationwide.

Assault rifles are sold out across the country. Rounds of .223 bullets, like those used in the AR-15 type Bushmaster rifle used in Newtown, are scarce. Stores are struggling to restock their shelves. Gun and ammunition makers are telling retailers they will have to wait months to get more.

Store owners who have been in the business for years say they have never seen demand like this before.

According to the AP, one customer bought 32,000 rounds of ammunition.

The fear, of course, is that a gun ban will be implemented, despite the fact that no lawmakers are suggesting banning all guns. Democrats plan on introducing several bills in January that would regulate some guns, including large capacity rifles, and some types of ammunition.


Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 6.14.13 PMWendy Gittleson is a seasoned writer, a dog lover and an avid political junkie. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. In her rare down times, you’ll find her somewhere in the mountains or near the beach. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson