Feds add gun stores, shooting ranges to ‘essential’ businesses amid coronavirus panic

gun stores deemed essential businesses amid coronavirus
Gun sales have spiked dramatically amid the media hysteria over the coronavirus — so much so that DHS has added gun stores to its list of “essential” businesses. (screenshot)

Gun stores and shooting ranges have been added to the Department of Homeland Security’s list of “essential” businesses that should remain open amid the media’s coronavirus panic.

In updated guidance issued March 28, DHS deemed “workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges” to be essential employees during the sweeping shutdown of businesses across the country.

gun stores essential workforce business
(Source: Department of Homeland Security)

The DHS guidance is not binding on states, but it is the federal government’s recommendation for how they should respond to coronavirus panic.

The updated guidance came shortly after the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) wrote to the DHS, urging it to designate the firearm industry as a “National Critical Infrastructure Industry” and its employees as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”

In its letter, the National Shooting Sports Foundation wrote that Americans are entitled to defend themselves in the event of civil unrest due to the hysteria surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have seen in the past that law enforcement has turned to firearm retailers in times of civil unrest, such as when during the Los Angeles riots in 1992 local law enforcement went to retailers to obtain more effective firearms in order to restore the peace and protect residents and local businesses.

Food, water, shelter and adequate medical care are paramount for survival, but so too is the ability for an individual to defend his or herself, their family, as well as their home, business and property.”

(Source: CBS Los Angeles)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation pointed out that Americans cannot always rely on law enforcement to help them during civil unrest because police get overwhelmed.

We saw it before during the 1992 L.A. riots and the 2014 Ferguson riots.

The NSSF explained:

“Right now, across America, tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are lining up at their local federally licensed firearm retailer to purchase firearms (after an industry-supported background check) and ammunition to protect themselves and family during this uncertain time.

Law enforcement resources will be taxed and stressed thin if this pandemic continues to spread. Americans increasingly understand that they cannot always rely on law enforcement to be there in a time of need. They have a duty to be responsible for their own safety.

The Second Amendment protects each law-abiding American’s God-given right to self-defense. And, the lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition products is constitutionally protected. Without our industry, the right to keep and bear arms would be a mere illusion.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic has erupted, gun sales have surged. Ironically, firearm sales have especially spiked in liberal, anti-Second Amendment states that are COVID-19 hot spots.

Contributing to the growing anxiety about a breakdown in law and order are declarations by left-wing mayors that police will no longer arrest criminals who commit personal theft, retail theft, or home burglaries. In other words, a criminal can break into your home, and nothing will happen to him.

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