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Opening a Fake Gun Store on the Lower East Side to Make a Point (Updated)

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Here’s something making the rounds on the internet today. It’s a public service announcement set in a fake gun store on the Lower East Side. The video was produced by an ad agency, Grey New York, and an organization called States United to Prevent Gun Violence. More from Ad Week:

They did what they’re calling “the unthinkable”—opened a real-looking gun store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and invited first-time gun buyers to check it out, with hidden cameras rolling. To create drama, they put disturbing tags on each weapon, indicating which models were used in particular mass shootings, unintentional shootings, homicides and suicides. Needless to say, the fresh-faced buyers end up looking rather pallid by the end, and aren’t quite as excited to head home with a firearm. The point of the PSA is to debunk the perception, held by six in 10 Americans, that owning a firearm makes a home safer. In fact, according to studies, those who own a gun—and those around them—have an increased risk of injury and death.

The agency rented the LES storefront at 149 Orchard St. for two days.

UPDATE 3/18: Here’s the response from the NRA:

It’s appalling that the gun control lobby exploits tragedy to further a political agenda. This video reveals their true agenda, which is to ban guns. If gun safety was their main concern they would use their resources to educate people about the safe and responsible use of firearms instead of producing expensive videos to scare people and spread lies.”

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  1. Were the guns real? If so, were the “dealers” licensed to posses them? Did they comply with local state an Federal law? Were the customers who took possession of them in compliance with the law when they did so? If not, those involved need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    But we know that won’t happen. These people, if guilty of committing crimes, will skate, like David Gregory skated. You see, laws don’t apply to them, they only apply to those who actually try to comply with them.
    And that’s what gun control is really about. Controlling PEOPLE.
    But only CERTAIN people.

  2. Interesting…many of the models on the wall cannot be legally owned by private individuals in NYC.

  3. They must have had cooperation from law enforcement to do this. I can’t imagine a major ad agency and a gun control advocacy organization openly flaunting gun control laws to bring a truckload of guns (including many “assault weapons” that are altogether banned in NYC) into an unsecured storefront on Orchard Street.

    Of course if you want to dissuade normal NYers from buying a gun, posting a copy of the NYC permit application and fee schedule is probably more effective than the theatrics in the video.

  4. The NYC law against real-looking fake guns has a carveout for fake guns used for theater, film and TV productions. This wasn’t a real store, but a fake store used in a video production.

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