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By Dean Weingarten

Entrance to Frank's Gun Shop by Ashley Hardway

Entrance to Frank’s Gun Shop by Ashley Hardway

Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten

Arizona - -(  It appears that Frank Petro, the owner of Frank’s Gun and Taxidermy Shop in Tunnelton, Pennsylvania, was being extorted by Jack Edmunson, who was poising as a dirty undercover police officer.

Frank found out that Jack Edmunson was a fake, and went to a lawyer to see if he could recover the money, somewhere over $130,000.

Edmunson is reported to have threatened Petro with arrest and jail if Petro did not turn over lottery winnings to him.  Police have not yet found anything illegal about Petro’s actions, but are investigating.

Edmunson seems to have decided that murder was the way out of this mess.  From

That led to Tuesday’s shooting, police said, when Edmundson walked about 200 yards from the Tunnelton Inn parking lot to Frank’s Gun and Taxidermy Shop. Police said surveillance video showed Edmundson walk inside the store, take a pistol from the display case and point it at Petro as he returned from a back room. They said he shot Petro twice, and Petro fell to the ground.

But Frank Petro was tougher than Edmundson figured. Petro manages to shoot his attacker as Edmundson is pouring black powder and accelerant around the store preparatory to torching it.  Edmundson shoots Petro in the head to finish him off, then calls 911 because of his wound.

Investigators then said Edmundson poured a black powder and an accelerant around the gun shop, at which point Petro fired at Edmundson, wounding him in the leg. Police said video shows Edmundson walk over to Petro and shoot him a third and fourth time in the face.

Edmundson tries to claim that the shooting was in self defense, but the video reveals everything. Edmunson was a police officer in 1995, but was convicted of stealing as part of a drug task force. He has since worked as a paramedic and as a confidential informant for the state police.

Frank’s Gun and Taxidermy shop is in Tunnelton, a rural area of Pennsylvania. The shooting occurred on January 1st 2014.

Incredibly, an anti-rights blogger at ( )  is claiming that if only Frank Petro, the gun shop owner, had not had any guns, he would have been better off. They spout the usual false talking points:

Every life is precious, but multiple studies show that a gun is far, far more likely to cost you your life than to protect you, as Mr. Petro and others have found out.

I find the argument silly. Edmundson had already decided to murder Frank Petro and burn down the shop to cover it up. Does any sane person believe that if it had not been a gun shop, that Edmundson would not have come up with another gun or another method to murder Petro with? I believe it far more likely that if Frank Petro would not have had guns, Edmundson would have been successful in his murder/arson. Instead, while Frank Petro died at the hands of an extremely dangerous criminal with police training, that criminal’s career has been ended and likely will no longer endanger the community.

We can regret that Frank Petro lost his life, but at least he did so while fighting back, and his killer has been arrested. If he had not had a gun, that outcome would almost certainly not have happened.

From reading several articles, it is unclear exactly what the extortion was for.  It appears that the fake officer found out that the lotteries that were won may not have been state approved.  Threatening the gun store owner with arrest, jail, and loss of his livelihood in exchange for the lottery winnings might have succeeded if the gun store owner’s brother did not see an article showing the extortionist being arrested on unrelated charges.  The police are still investigating.

The tickets appeared at first glance to be legal, but Indiana County investigators are working to trace their roots, District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said at a news conference. He did not go into detail about how the ticket sales worked.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973.  He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 7 User comments to “Would Murdered Gun Shop Owner Been Better Off Without Guns? Would Society?”

    1. Here’s what is wrong with saying Frank shouldn’t have had a gun. This argument will be used to prevent first degree murder charges. Everyone knew Frank kept a gun for protection. He could look out the door and see who is coming in and be ready for a possible burglary. Edmunson was there before and knew where Frank kept the gun. In order to keep Frank from having a warning, he parked his vehicle 200 yards away and came in the back way through the woods so Frank couldn’t see who was coming. Frank came from the back room and Edmunson shot him 2 times, like you said in your article it would have been part of Edmunsons’ plan to use this particular gun. Thank God Frank did get a shot off, or he may have never been caught. Also Edmunson has a staff infection in his leg from the gun powder, plus the other damage. This couldn’t have happened if Frank didn’t have a gun. Absolutely Frank having the gun had a positive affect. Maybe the staff infection may end up saving the taxpayers a lot of money.

    2. Thanks for the information. It sounds as though you have local knowledge about the case. Please feel free to contact me with any news you think needs to get out. Send email to

    3. Capn Jack on January 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM said:

      Kind of “Open and Shut” HANG HIM…Next….

      Save the state some money.

    4. Larry Cates on January 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM said:

      And how does anyone expect us law-abiding citizens to trust and respect cops when this sort of thing is happening everyday? LEO’s no longer need to knock and identify themselves before knocking down your door, i.e. they get no-knock warrants based on here say evidence, their testimonies are upheld as the gospel truth in court without having to prove anything that they testify to, they arrest people for defending themselves and their families in their own homes against intruders in the middle of the night in their own homes and the list goes on and on. God help us!

    5. Chris Rakes on January 7, 2014 at 12:25 PM said:

      as with “fast and Furious”, it goes to show that gun shop owners are vulnerable to extortion. they have to bend over so much to meet government regulations. it is hard for them to know the truth.
      to me this was a case of a criminal taking advantage of this. if Petro had not been so afraid of the LE he would not have fell for this scam. but the biggest thing is that he was the target of murder. the fact he did have a gun so he had more of a chance to protect himself.

    6. HappyClinger on January 7, 2014 at 1:57 PM said:

      @Tom: It was a gun store, and the article clearly says that Edmundson took a gun from the display case and shot Petro with it. So I’m puzzled about the premise of your comment that he used Petro’s personal gun he kept for self-defense.

    7. @happyclinger, From what was said the gun was kept by the victim for protection, obviously the actor knew where this firearm was kept and went directly for it.It wasn’t just a random gun from a display case. The media hasn’t fully explained this in there reporting but it’s what was said by the DA at the press conference.

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