The John Jovino Co. gun shop opened in 1911 in Manhattan in the middle ground between Little Italy and Chinatown, just a block over from NYPD Headquarters.
Purchased in the 1920s by the Imperato family– who ran the shop and their Henry Firearms Company from its location until they pulled stumps for New Jersey in the 1990s– the store was iconic.
It was featured in films including Mean Streets and Serpico, as well as television shows such as Law and Order.
Crime scene photographer Weegee even lived in a studio apartment directly over the shop in the 1930s and 40s and captured the storefront, with its distinctive revolver sign, in at least one gritty nighttime image of Gotham.
Now, the shop has gone, killed by a combination of rising rents, ever-tougher NYC regs on gun sales, and the COVID-19 lockdown.
More in my column at Guns.com.
Go ahead, tell me you wouldn’t shop there…
Following the news that the terrorist in the Orlando attack was able to legally purchase his firearms from a local store after he was turned down by one licensed dealer just days before, I spoke a couple weeks ago with software developer and long-time gun owner Seth Banks who came up with an idea that gun shops could help network to keep this from happening in the future.
The idea is simple. A private network for verified Federal Firearms Licensees to share and report incidents they have with suspicious buyers, and communicate with each other. When one shop in the network posts an alert, other dealers within driving distance are alerted via email, in-app notification, and/or text message.
“FFLs deny gun purchases for all sorts of reasons; including mental health, straw sales, intoxication, violent comments in the store, etc. … FFLs are on the front line protecting our community from bad actors already. Why not make their jobs easier?” Banks argued.
And with that Gun Shop Watchlist was formed.
More in my column at Guns.com