John Jovino Gun Shop

John Jovino Gun Shop

John Jovino Gun Shop or the John Jovino Company is a firearms dealer and factory located at 183 Grand Street, in Little Italy in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is the oldest gun retailer in New York Citycite news
title=New York Dealers Are Prominent on Court Case's List of Guns Tied to Crime
author=Andy Newman
date=April 18 2003
publisher=The New York Times
] and claims to be the oldest gun shop in the United States. cite news
title=Chinatown mystery: Why did officials from the bloodiest country on earth stock up at a local gun shop?
author=Adam Weinstein
date=October 23 2007
publisher=Village Voice


The store, which is known for its sign depicting a revolver, was founded in 1911 by John Jovino who sold it to the Imperato family in the 1920s. It remains in the family. The store was once part of a gun shop district, around the corner from the former police headquarters at 240 Centre Street, which the current owner recalls as "a sea of blue" (police uniforms).

The store "does about $1 million worth of business annually", a figure which used to be higher before the New York Police Department opened an internal firearms bureau. The company also owns a gun factory in Brooklyn, the only one in the city, which makes Colt M1911 pistols and reproductions of American Civil War-era Henry rifles.cite news
title=PUBLIC LIVES; Selling Guns: A Tradition and a Dilemma
author=Randy Kennedy
date=April 5 2000
publisher=The New York Times

Although many of its customers are in law enforcement, the company was near the top of a list of sellers whose guns were linked to New York City crimes in a 2003 report by a Columbia University researcher using data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Some 102 guns of 11,700 used in crimes and later identified came from the Jovino shop. According to current owners, until the 1980s the Jovino Company was "one of the biggest dealers in the country" and sold guns to many police departments. The study did not suggest any wrongdoing by the dealers listed. A 2007 "Village Voice" article raised questions about the store's sales to United Nations diplomats from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The shop was seen in the film "Serpico" and very briefly in "Mean Streets" as well as "The Brave One".


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ New York Daily Photo]

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