California Sheriff Reverses Order on Gun Stores Closures
U-turn on Gun store closures amid coronavirus pandemic
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva made a u-turn on his recent order on closing gun stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Villanueva said that gun stores could reopen after he ordered them to close twice since last week.
The sheriff has previously deemed gun stores a "nonessential" businesses claiming that panic buying could be a public safety hazard.
He added the most recent decision stems from an Advisory Memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Saturday, which supported the firearms and ammunition industry, adding them to the "list of essential critical infrastructure workers."
“Although explicitly advisory in nature, nonetheless the federal memorandum is persuasive given the national scope," he said.
"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," he added.
“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.”
But Villanueva said last week that gun and ammunition stores are not considered essential businesses before ordering them to close to the general public.
The order complied with L.A. County's "Safer at Home Order for Control of COVID-19."
“During the closure, they shall be permitted to sell ammunition to security guard companies,” said Villanueva.
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“Also, I am making an exception for those who have already lawfully purchased a firearm, possess a valid California Firearms Safety certificate, and simply need to take possession of their firearm.”
Earlier this week, The Trump Administration released updated guidelines concerning the coronavirus shutdown restrictions, declaring gun stores and manufacturers' "essential businesses" nationwide.
President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released updated guidelines on Saturday.
Firearms manufacturers and retailers are now listed as essential, meaning they are to stay open and operational nationwide during a Chinese virus lockdown.
The updated rules also include exceptions for companies providing supplies for law enforcement and first responders.