Local gun store owner receives death threat
Updated 7:28 pm, Saturday, December 22, 2012
A Harris County gun shop owner received a letter Saturday threatening him, his family and his employees.
"Live by the gun. Die by the gun. You will not live to see Easter," reads the typed letter that was mailed Thursday in Houston and arrived Saturday at Jim Pruett's Guns & Ammo.
Jim Pruett was photographed and quoted in the Houston Chronicle last week saying that restricting sales of military-style arms wouldn't prevent tragedies like the Connecticut massacre. "All it's going to do is make it difficult for law-abiding citizens to get the best protection they can for their home against, especially in Texas, gangs motivated by the drug cartel," Pruett said in the Wednesday article.
He said Saturday they were taking the threat from the threat signed by a "Newtown-inspired marksman" seriously.
"Are we afraid? No, but we're cautious," he said.
A sheriff's deputy picked up the letter Saturday afternoon and told Pruett it would probably be turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The deputy also urged him to take the threat seriously, Pruett said.
"All of our staff makes an extra effort now to look at everyone who comes in," Pruett said. "We do that anyway, but now even more so."
If someone looks unusual or behaves oddly, the store doesn't sell that person a gun, even if they pass the background check.
"We are the final authority," he said. "We can deny people."
Pruett, who has owned his store nearly 12 years, acknowledged he had never received a letter like the one he got Saturday. It's well written and specific, he said.
A Vietnam War veteran, Pruett said he knows how to protect himself. "I'm always armed and I will always have a say in the outcome of anything aggressive that comes my way," he said
Pruett, who worked in radio more than 25 years with the late Mark Stevens, said he's hopeful that news coverage of the letter will help shed light on where its source.
If other gun store owners have received similar letters, Pruett invited them to contact him. He warned that it might be hard to get through.
"There's no way we can answer all the phone calls during this insane buying period generated by the threat of an assault weapons ban," he said.