First, from reporter Bill Melugin:
The Sheriff told me he is a gun owner himself, supports 2nd amendment, but believes too many first time buyers are panicking and bringing guns into homes where people are locked down, which he believes is recipe for disaster with potential accidental shootings. @FOXLA
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 24, 2020
The Sheriff has no data to support this, it’s not even anecdotal, he’s using prejudice as basis for “law.” You also have love those who say “I support the 2nd Amendment” while actually arguing the opposite. His opinion isn’t fact nor is it informed by it.
It sounds like there are some stores in Burbank that will be allowed to stay open because they serve law enforcement and can be deemed essential, but other county stores with a rush of first time buyers are being told to close because they are non essential & distancing issues.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 24, 2020
Meanwhile Sheriff Villanueva continues releasing inmates. I hope to get an answer on this (I’ve reached out backchannel as well):
Will @LACoSheriff arrest or cite California gun store owners who choose to stay open and follow social distancing protocol? Other gun stores in other states have done this successfully.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2020
The L.A. County Sheriff isn’t the only one attempting to restrict the right of self defense during the fog of a pandemic:
BREAKING: PA Governor Wolf revises shutdown order to allow gun shops to stay open/sales to continue following @gunpolicy Law emergency legal action, 3 PA Supreme Court Justice's strong statement re RKBA. Statement to follow. Case docs at https://t.co/SdMN96tV9y pic.twitter.com/LQLIg72xNy
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) March 24, 2020
“Except that firearms dealers may operate physical businesses on a limited basis to complete only the portions of a sale/transfer that must be conducted in-person under the law, subject to the following restrictions: 1) all such sale/transfers will be conducted by individual appointment during limited hours only so as to minimize social interactions and congregating of persons; 2) the dealer will comply with social distancing, sanitization of applicable area between appointments, and other mitigation measures to protect its employees and the public.”
Wolf is a Democrat governor and ultimately sided with the three dissenting PA Supreme Court Justices by modifying his original order.
In New Jersey. Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order that has shut down gun sales in the state and effectively suspended the Second Amendment. After the Governor’s order, the New Jersey State Police announced that it was “directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services.”
But it did not take long for the Second Amendment Foundation—a national powerhouse in gun rights litigation—to act. SAF has been joined by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society in filing a federal lawsuit against Murphy and State Police Supt. Patrick Callahan, in their official capacities, seeking an injunction.
The Firearms Policy Coalition and the National Shooting Sports Foundation monitored and stood ready to intervene. The NSSF is also pushing this nationally, too.
Thanks to the the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation for leading this fight at such a critical time for us gun owners.
This morning (3/25):
STUNNING REVERSAL. The Los Angeles County Sheriff told @BillFOXLA Tuesday night that enforcement efforts to close down local gun stores have been suspended after intervention from the county’s legal counsel. https://t.co/q8hI7SjMeQ
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) March 25, 2020
Sheriff Alex Villanueva told FOX 11 reporter Bill Melugin county counsel Mary Wickham issued an opinion that gun stores can be classified as essential businesses under the Governor’s statewide executive order.
Sheriff Villanueva everything is now in “limbo”, and added he reached out to the Governor’s office to get clarification on how gun stores should be classified, but never got a response.
It has stopped Villanueva, but hasn’t reduced anti-gun prejudice:
The Sheriff maintained that he believes gun stores should not be open to the general public right now because he feels there are too many first time buyers making panic purchases of guns they don’t know how to operate and they aren’t familiar with California’s strict laws.
“You can’t shoot a virus,” Villanueva said.
His opinion isn’t law and he would better serve those he pledges to protect by not condescending to them.