As Coronavirus fears escalate and new cases skyrocket, municipalities and states have begun to issue “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. These orders close nonessential businesses and limit citizens’ travels to only places considered essential.
This has opened a can of worms as mayors and governors determine what businesses are deemed “essential.”
Grocery stores and banks surely make the list, while bars and restaurants are out – other than for delivery and takeout. Libraries and state parks are closing, but liquor stores are hanging on.
So where does that leave gun stores?
If you’ve been to a firearms or tactical supply store in the last month, you know that people are exercising their right to bear arms, many for the first time.
Gun and ammunition sales have spiked up to 300% as people prepare for weeks and possibly months of quarantine. With supplies dwindling in stores, the general public is preparing to defend themselves.
The Debate Rages On
Unfortunately, the declaration of gun stores as “essential” is becoming a topic of national debate.
J.B. Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, despite being openly anti-gun, has deemed firearms and ammunition outlets “essential” and they remain open despite a statewide shutdown.
However, San Diego county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher disagrees, and believes that gun stores should close.
In New Jersey, governor Phil Murphy has already closed gun stores. Although office supply stores stay open, the New Jersey National Instant Criminal Background Check System will no longer process requests for firearms dealers.
Now is a great time to stock up on staples and post-it notes, but forget about guns and ammunition.
Seeking Federal Approval
The gun industry is now forced to seek “essential” status at the federal level, to ensure that all citizens have the opportunity for self-defense.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation represents 9,000 firearms companies and retailers and is lobbying to be included in the federal government’s 16 critical infrastructures.
So what are the 16 critical infrastructures?
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- Chemical Sector
- Commercial Facilities Sector
- Communications Sector
- Critical Manufacturing Sector
- Dams Sector
- Defense Industrial Base Sector
- Emergency Services Sector
- Energy Sector
- Financial Services Sector
- Food & Agriculture Sector
- Government Facilities Sector
- Healthcare & Public Health Sector
- Information Technology Sector
- Nuclear Reactors, Materials, & Waste Sector
- Transportation Systems Sector
- Water & Wastewater Systems Sector
Firearms dealers could potentially fall into the Defense Industrial Base Sector or the Emergency Services Sector. Now it’s up to the Department of Homeland Security.
It is disheartening that our constitutionally protected right to bear arms is being stripped from us when we may need it the most.
Within a matter of a week, our government has restricted our travel, entertainment, access to goods and services, and now our ability to defend ourselves; all in the name of public safety.
While many of these orders are temporary, most are already in place for 30 days and can be extended as deemed necessary.
It is times like these that show us how important it is to fight for our 2nd Amendment.