Religious leaders meet with gun-shop owner to address city violence
Gun violence does not adhere to any religion. That's the motivating factor behind a group of interfaith clergy who've formed a collective effort to quell illegal gun purchases in the city.
Gun violence does not adhere to any religion.
That's the motivating factor behind a group of interfaith clergy who've formed a collective effort to quell illegal gun purchases in the city.
Yesterday, religious leaders of various faiths met with James Colosimo, owner of Colosimo's Gun Center, located on Spring Garden Street near Percy, requesting that he adopt a firearms code of conduct.
"[We need] a reduction of violence, a reduction of homicides that are affecting Philadelphia," said Allen Bartlett, assisting bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia.
"It's getting worse. Guns have to be acquired somewhere and so we're going to the source."
Next month, from Jan. 13 to 17, the group will host a peace conference to address the issue.
Points included in the agreement insist that gun-shop owners videotape all sale transactions, administer employee background checks and secure firearms in locked areas.
The memorandum is identical to that between Wal-Mart and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition.
Although religious leaders said the owner was receptive to the idea, Colosimo made no decision last night. Reached later, Colosimo agreed the meeting went smoothly, but declined to comment further.
Members of the group said the owner was contacted because of long-standing connections between the shop and stolen firearms used in a crime.
A spokesman for the proprietor said Colosimo already complies with the points listed in the code of conduct.
"We're looking to create some partnerships between some unlikely partners, clergy and gun-show owners," said Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Pennsylvania director of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Thomas Swain, clerk for the Religious Society of Friends, said the shopkeeper was receptive.
"He was very hospitable and open to our concerns," he said.
Elwell said their collective effort transcends religious affiliations.
"Violence, gun violence, is such a serious issue in all the communities we work with," she said.
"We [religious leaders] may have some other differences between us, but this is something we can stand firmly together and be clear about."
For info, go to www.peace