A DHS memo stated that gun stores and gun ranges should be considered “essential businesses” during this pandemic. That directive has caused some Democrat jurisdictions to allow them to be re-opened.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva is just one example. After the on again, off again stance on gun store and range closures, the DHS memo slowed him down. He now has said they can remain open. The NRA sued both him and the governor on Friday, as we previously reported, but it appears that guidance from the Feds is what changed his direction. The California Governor left it up to each jurisdiction as to whether to close gun stores.
“Although explicitly advisory in nature, nonetheless the federal memorandum is persuasive given the national scope. Included in the list of essential critical infrastructure workers are workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges…Based on further input by the federal government, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will not order or recommend closure of businesses that sell or repair firearms or sell ammunition.” Los Angeles County Sheriff
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) March 31, 2020
The New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, a notoriously anti-gun Democrat, has also reversed his previous demand for gun stores and gun ranges to close and now allows them to be termed “essential businesses” based on the DHS memo.
Murphy’s decision came after the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance over the weekend telling states that they should allow gun retailers and shooting ranges to remain open during the pandemic.
Agency Director Christopher Krebs on Saturday told states that “[w]orkers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges” are part of the “essential critical infrastructure workforce.”
Murphy, a Democrat who has pushed for stricter gun laws in his state, said he was hesitant in making the change, but said he didn’t have a say in the matter.
“It wouldn’t have been my definition, but that’s the definition at the federal level. I didn’t get a vote on that,” Murphy said, adding that residents can go to a gun store to purchase a firearm by appointment only and “during limited hours.”
As we all wend our way through the closure of businesses during this coronavirus pandemic, there are businesses that absolutely need to be kept open and gun stores are among them. The guidance provided by the DHS memo keeps the ability to protect ourselves from harm as a reality. Limited hours for operation are fine (social distancing and all), but taking them out altogether was foolish. Some cities and states are releasing prisoners back into the community — thanks, I’ll keep my guns just in case.
Featured photo: screenshot of long lines at gun store just prior to Gov Newsom’s stay-at-home order