Trial of Heeding God's Call members

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12 members go on trial for trying to reduce gun violence in and around Philadelphia.



Over 300 T-shirt with the names of people that were murdered in the area.

Phila. gun-shop protesters acquitted

By Vernon Clark

Philadelphia Inquirer - 05/27/2009

Twelve activists from the interfaith group Heeding God's Call who were arrested at Colosimo's gun shop in Philadelphia in January were acquitted of all charges in a one-day bench trial in Municipal Court.


Rev. Jim McInire and Rev. David T. embrace after leaving the court. All were aquitted

rally gathering

The vigil outside the square.

Judge acquits gun protesters

Julie Shaw

Philadelphia Daily News - 05/27/2009

Melissa DeLong wiped a tear from her eye as she told a Philadelphia judge yesterday the story of a 4-year-old boy gunned down in Camden last year after being caught in a crossfire between two men.


T-shirts around the square in front of City Hall.

Michelle Bartlow
Rev. Michelle Bartlow of FUMCOG at the noon support rally.



Statement of Darrell (Drick) Boyd

For years I was troubled by the nightly reports of violence and death on the streets of Philadelphia, and  I agonized over the statistics of violence in our city. I wondered what could I, as an individual and as a Christian do in response to the reports I was hearing.
Last year I became part of the group, Heeding God’s Call. As a part of that group,  I learned about the Code of Conduct  for Responsible Gun Dealers that had been signed by Wal-Mart. I also learned that historically Colisimo’s Gun Shop had been a major source of illegal guns in this area.
So, on Friday, January 16 a little after 2 pm, I rang the buzzer in Mr. Colisimo’s store.  I had a copy of the Code of Conduct in my pocket and my purpose was to offer him another opportunity to sign the code. I rang the buzzer and was  refused entry to the store. When it became apparent they were not going to let us in, I and the two others with me sat down in front of the door to the shop.

Gun Violence Prevention page of Heeding God's Call.

Photos 1, 2 & 5 taken by Ray Torres
All others taken by Rich Gardner


Gun ownership,

During my career I've been to Colisimo's many times and ALWAYS, in Phila. Gun Shops and in fact any weapon shop in Pennsylvania, when a weapon is purchased, proper identity and recording procedures are followed according to Federal and State Law. A MAJORITY of weapons used in crimes in Phila. were not bought at local gun shops by the perpetrators but, in my opinion, a straw buyer, meaning one without any criminal background who resells same on the street after reporting the weapon stolen.

A MAJORITY of weapons used in violence are purchased in States that have NO restrictions on sales at gun shows or from private owners. Most are Southern States. The weapon used to kill a Phila. Police Officer at Broad and Olney Ave recently was from South Carolina. Also, most of the weapons recovered in Mexico were bought in the Southern and lower mid west states. To target Colisimos for doing his job, in my opinion, was not justified.

The corners of the inner City where KNOWN violence has occurred should, in my opinion, be the focus areas for demonstrations. The victim's family and friends KNOW where they are and to bring attention to those areas is something the drug dealers and those with criminal intent, do not want.
Responsible ownership of a weapon is not criminal.

Jon Pisano

I agree that the problem and solution need to be nationalized

When a particularly notorious shooting occurred a while ago, the media pointed to Virgina as the source for the gun. Clearly, gun control laws need to be nationwide. Obviously, there will still be smuggling across the national borders, but the reduction will still help.
I'm not at all clear as to how demonstrating in the inner city will help. At least with this group, they were calling attention to a local problem where a clear solution was available right away.


what was or is the clear solution. I read the form this group wanted the Gun Owner to sign and I believe he already has internal video of the shop and is in complience as to photo documentation. As to the other points in the document, I believe it should be a Police issue

jon pisano

Nationalizing gun purchasing rules

is a partial solution. The gun/crime problem is a very widespread one, but it seems to me that the best way to eliminate straw purchases is to make the rules the same everywhere. That way, there wouldn't be any point into someone taking orders and money from Pennsylvania and driving down to Virginia, buying a bunch of guns and then driving back. By no means would that solve the whole gun problem, but that would take out a chunk of it.