This last Friday (the 13th, no less), President Trump declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, many of us lovers of the Second Amendment automatically get our hackles up when we hear about states of emergency or expanding government powers.
Let's break down exactly what this means both in legal terms and what it means for the average Joe.
What Powers Does This State Grant Trump?
In essence, Trump's state of emergency gives the United States president certain powers and privileges that he can’t use in any other circumstances. There are over 100 laws in total that let the president declare a state of emergency which frees up the government from some normal legal restraints. Most of these are related to funding or lowering legal barriers, particularly in relation to military actions.
Does this give Trump the ability to declare martial law?
Not exactly; technically, he could already enact something similar even before the state of emergency. But it does allow him to deploy armed troops throughout the country, ostensibly to set up checkpoints and make sure that people don’t travel unnecessarily and spread the virus more than it already has.
Does This Mean You Can’t Travel?
Not yet. Right now, Trump’s declaration doesn’t limit travel between states, although certain state governors may decide to close their own state borders except for essential personnel. These rulings are valid unless otherwise determined by the Supreme Court or the president himself.
What it does mean is that anyone who claims to support the Second Amendment in case of tyrannical overextension needs to be paying attention.
There’s no sign that things are going to spiral out of control just yet, but you never know. A few weeks ago, Coronavirus wasn’t as much of a big deal as it is now, and here we are.
What Can You Do?
At this point, the best thing to do is to keep living your life and watching the news in case things develop. You already have the weapons and ammunition necessary to keep you and your family safe, but you might want to make sure that you stock up on ammo and other supplies in case things get worse.
Especially since people are buying more guns and ammunition right now in response to the virus panic and the possibility of borders being shut down, the time has never been better to shore up on your stockpiles and make sure you have what you need.
It also means stockpiling on gasoline and other essentials that you might need depending on where you live. If borders are shut down, you may still need to move and communicate; that means owning a good radio and having at least a few meeting points with your friends and family.
Again, things aren’t this bad yet, but it never hurts to be prepared.
However, you should also try to remain isolated for the time being. Right now the virus is reaching its maximum strength in regard to transmission, so it’ll help everyone if the infected don’t get an opportunity to infect everyone else. Try to stay home and do your target practice at a home range you can set up in your backyard or elsewhere on your property instead of getting together with your friends to compare shots like you normally do.
Summing It Up
Trump’s state of emergency is interesting news, and a little alarming, but it’s happened before. We'd recommend right now that everyone tries to stay healthy and pay attention to the news. Stay vigilant and you'll be prepared for any eventuality.