Targeting gun dealers

Episcopal bishop Allen Bartlett of Pennsylvania has joined other religious leaders calling for pressure for a code of conduct for those selling handguns, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s

Citing frustration with the legislature’s reluctance to pass tough laws against “straw” handgun purchases, a coalition of religious leaders stood outside a gun store yesterday and announced a plan to pressure retailers directly.

“We . . . cannot stand by while towns and cities suffer senseless violence,” said Bishop Allen Bartlett, assisting bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

He was joined on the sidewalk in front of Colosimo’s Gun Center in the 900 block of Spring Garden Street by representatives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Friends Yearly Meeting, and a synagogue.

A group of about a dozen area religious institutions, named “Heeding God’s Call,” is urging Pennsylvania gun retailers to sign a 10-point “code of conduct” to curb the supply of weapons to criminals. The code, created in April by a national coalition of mayors, drew national attention when Wal-Mart – the largest seller of rifles and shotguns in the country – signed a document agreeing to abide by its rules.

Dealers who take the pledge agree to:

Videotape all their firearms transactions.

Participate in a computerized gun-trace log that will identify buyers whose previous purchases were used in crimes.

Conduct criminal background checks on employees and train them in ways to deter illegal purchasers.

Accept only federal or state photo IDs.

Read more here.

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