Gun-Rights Groups Sue North Carolina, Los Angeles Sheriffs Over Coronavirus Shut Downs

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Hopefully, these lawsuits will be successful.

A collection of Second Amendment activists filed a pair of federal lawsuits on Friday targeting sheriffs in California and North Carolina over mandatory coronavirus-related shutdowns of gun stores and permit-purchase systems, respectively.

The suits come in the wake of California governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to allow local authorities to close gun stores under his emergency lockdown order. Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva, acting on Newsom’s guidance, mandated gun-store closures. A separate suit was filed in North Carolina after Wake County sheriff Gerald Baker (D.) refused to process new pistol-purchase and gun-carry permits starting on Tuesday.

The outcome of the cases will shape how local officials can restrict Americans’ access to constitutionally protected gun rights during the emergency response to the novel coronavirus. Gun stores and manufacturers are facing potential shutdowns in a dozen states even as Americans flood stores during the crisis. Gun store and permitting process shutdowns have thwarted buyers in parts of the country, leading gun-rights groups to take legal action.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), National Rifle Association, California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF), and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed suit against Villanueva and Newsom in an effort to keep gun stores in one the country’s most populous counties open to the public. SAF founder Alan Gottlieb called the shutdowns in Los Angeles County an “attack on fundamental rights.” The NRA said California officials were denying people guns at a time they need them most.

“Municipalities and states that target lawful gun stores for closure aren’t promoting safety—by weaponizing their politics to disarm you and your loved ones, these shameless partisans are wantonly promoting a gun-control agenda that suffocates your Second Amendment rights when you need them most,” Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the Washington Free Beacon it “has not been served with this lawsuit and has no comment at this time.”

Villanueva said in a statement on Thursday that gun stores will be able to continue selling firearms to security companies, adding that civilians who had already completed a purchase would be allowed to pick up their firearms. The stores, however, would be closed to the general public. Local officials have argued that gun stores are not “essential” and are thus subject to a statewide lockdown.

“There’s nothing essential about being able to purchase a new handgun,” Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer told the Associated Press. Feuer did not respond to a request for comment.

Adam Kraut, FPC director of legal strategy, said the decision to shutter gun stores makes it effectively impossible to legally purchase guns or ammunition in the county.

“Especially due to the restrictive nature of California’s byzantine gun laws that require the use of licensed dealers to buy and transfer both firearms and ammunition, the defendants’ orders and actions challenged individually and collectively violate the Constitution and individuals’ fundamental rights to keep and bear arms and due process of law,” he said. “These irrational and outrageous fiat restrictions cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny and must be enjoined from enforcement.”

Kraut said the case against Wake County, N.C., sheriff Baker was equally urgentarguing that the sheriff’s refusal to process new permits to purchase or carry a pistol also makes it impossible for residents to exercise their gun rights.

“Sheriff Baker’s unconstitutional actions have and will deprive law-abiding, peaceable individuals the opportunity to obtain handguns, the ‘quintessential self-defense weapon’ according to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a time where the arms are most needed,” he said.

A spokesman for Wake County’s Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Baker said in a statement that his decision “does not limit anyone’s right to purchase a handgun,” but is necessary because of the overwhelming number of people who have applied to purchase pistols as coronavirus has spread.

“Over the past several weeks, our staff has been inundated with high volumes of permit applications that have made it impossible to process by law,” he said. “This decision is not a violation of anyone’s Second Amendment Rights. Most importantly, this action will limit persons encountering one another during this time of State of Emergency, consistent with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Orders and that of Wake County Commissioner Greg Ford.”

The gun-rights groups accused Baker of misinterpreting the law, comparing his actions to the Washington, D.C., handgun ban that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the landmark 2008 Heller ruling.

“Sheriff Baker is implementing by fiat what the Supreme Court struck down in Heller—a ban on a citizen’s right to purchase a handgun for the defense of hearth and home,” Ed Green, Grass Roots North Carolina director of legal affairs, said in a statement. “This action cannot be allowed to stand.”

Hearings for each case have not yet been set.

GA Sheriff: Armed Homeowner Defends Family Against Career “Hoodlum”

H/T Bearing Arms.

This scumbag should have never been out of jail.

It is a shame the gunshot he got was not fatal.

The sheriff in Putnam County, Georgia says he’s “sick” over a career criminal with a “20-page rap sheet” attempting to break into a home and terrorize the family inside.

Sheriff Howard Sills says 28-year old Hunter Layne Harrison, who was already on probation for three different crimes dating back to 2014, used a concrete block and a dumbbell to break a glass door at the rear of the home, gaining entrance before the armed homeowner fired a shot in self-defense. The shot hit Harrison in the arm, and he dropped to the floor where the homeowner held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

The deputies then attempted to detain Harrison and place him in cuffs, but Sills says the suspect battled with the deputies, splattering blood across the kitchen, breaking free, cussing at the officers, and running towards a door that he believed was an exit.

But Sills says Harrison didn’t realize the home was currently under construction and that the door no longer led to a back deck, causing Harrison to fall nine feet to the ground where deputies arrested him.

The officers had to use pepper spray to subdue Harrison and keep his feet in shackles to keep him from running.

While Harrison was en route to an ambulance that had arrived on scene, Sills says he continued to fight deputies. Once inside the ambulance, Harrison was sent to The Medical Center, Navicent Health to be treated for his injuries, including undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his arm.

Sills exasperatedly told reporters that Harrison is now taking up a bed that could be used for a coronavirus patient, though it sounds like he’ll soon be moved over to the Putnam County jail. Given the fact that Harrison is now charged with home invasion, he’ll likely be facing a relatively high bond, which could keep him behind bars even as other jails around the state are starting to release non-violent offenders. The Fulton County jail released 30 offenders on Wednesday after an inmate tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but there’s been no sign or indication that sheriffs around the state have plans to release any violent offenders to mitigate the spread of the disease.

As for the homeowners, it sounds like they’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do, but thankfully no one in the household was harmed and they can continue to ride out the pandemic at their place. I suspect, however, that any unarmed neighbors they might have are going to be heading down to the Bass and Antler or Weaver Bros. Discount Mattresses and Guns (yep, it’s a real business) in nearby Milledgeville in the hopes that they can pick up a firearm and ammunition to protect themselves. After all, it’s clear that criminals aren’t sheltering in place, and it’s reasonable for the law-abiding to want their own shelter to be as secure as possible.

Do Foreign Governments Threaten Your Right to Arms?



“The 1st Amendment protects the 2nd Amendment”
Forced to “shelter-in-place,” Americans can’t assemble, plan, talk
Chinese communists deny it, blame us, First and Second Amendments at dire risk

Armed Americans like to say, “The Second Amendment protects the rest,” but now we’re learning the First Amendment equally protects our right to arms. Without the right to assemble, the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting has been cancelled. Just shy of 100,000 gun activists are denied the right to assemble, talk politics, livestream, plan for elections, and work to preserve the right to arms.

The Chinese Wuhan coronavirus shuts down gun shows completely. That’s fine–from a gun-averse hoplophobic or government perspective. The BATFE’s much vaunted NICS gun-control system can only stop gun show sales, like a switch, as JPFO’s founder Aaron Zelman strenuously warned. Now, even gathering stops dead, cutting the talk and activism that was a main gun-show concern of government czars and left-wing politicos. Fortunately, ironic fairness leaves everyone equally burdened by the Wuhan-originated virus. Communists’ measured failure to act has shorted-circuited our Bill of Rights.

‘By delaying release of information they had, and letting Wuhan residents circulate, the communist dictators ruling China did put the entire planet at risk. No outsider can assert it was deliberate, or that they could see it would give them tremendous power and an upper hand with this terrible disease, which we all now experience,” according to Alan Korwin, a widely published columnist, author and consultant to JPFO. “Under Mao’s reign, that nation thought nothing of sacrificing tens of millions of their own people to advance a cause. His face still adorns their money and walls. The deaths they suffered in this debacle are not part of their big picture. You could argue this isn’t so, hurl epithets at JPFO or insist the great communist monolith is not what it is, or you can get woke at last. Either way, now we’re simply in dire medical, financial, civil rights, manufacturing and supply-chain trouble from a single source, in serious need of brainwashing detergent. At least we still make guns here, and those remain a substantial bulwark against civil unrest if deprivation turns to panic and violence.”

West Virginia: Governor Signs Important Preemption Bill

H/T AmmoLand.

Bravo to Governor  Jim Justice(R-WV)for singing this very important Preemption Bill.

U.S.A. -( While the news is filled with gloom and doom over Coronavirus scares, some good news came out of the West Virginia earlier today. WV Governor Jim Justice signed a bill that reinforces the state’s preemption law. Senate Bill 96 is part of a concerted effort by pro-gun politicians in WV to prevent anti-gun municipalities from passing anti-gun local ordinances that could restrict the rights of WV citizens.

The wording of Senate Bill 96 is very encompassing and deliberate. This is ideal for any legislation dealing with fundamental human rights as it helps prevent future politicians from restricting those rights by playing on the ambiguity them. See below.

Senate Bill 96

(a) Neither a municipality nor the governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance or otherwise, limit the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell, or store any deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray, or any ammunition or ammunition components to be used therewith nor to so regulate the keeping of gunpowder so as to directly or indirectly prohibit the ownership of the ammunition in any manner inconsistent with or in conflict with state law.

The NRA’s take is pretty similar, below is their full press release.

Today, Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 96 to strengthen West Virginia’s preemption law.

Senate Bill 96 prevents municipalities from restricting a number of tools that law-abiding citizens carry with them every day. It also repeals the concealed carry permit requirement to carry at fairs and festivals from the current preemption law. Preemption legislation is designed to stop municipalities from creating a patchwork of different laws that turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal for simply crossing a jurisdictional line.

The NRA would like to thank the West Virginia Citizens Defense league for their extensive efforts, KnifeRights for their support, andGov. Justice for signing this important bill into law.

Truckers Call for Second Amendment Right Nationwide During Emergency

H/T AmmoLand.

The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) has a valid argument.

U.S.A. –-( A group of small business truckers has sent an email to the Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The email asks that, as part of the national emergency involving the Chinese virus, the federal government declare the Second Amendment overrides state law and federal regulation forbidding truckers from exercising their Second Amendment rights.


The 15,000-member SBTC is calling on federal authorities to preempt state and local laws regarding the right to carry a firearm.

Therefore, in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, we hereby request the U.S. Department of Transportation please issue a preemption order nullifying any and all state and local laws that restrict truck drivers from carrying firearms across state lines throughout America in order to enable them to protect themselves and their cargo as they engage in interstate commerce.

As this is now a matter of life and death, please issue same forthwith.

“The SBTC through its TRUCKER LIVES MATTER campaign has sought the unfettered ability of drivers to carry firearms for self protection nationwide since its inception in 2014,” Lamb tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN).  “We have pointed to Department of Labor statistics that show the unusually high rates of murders on the road for workers in interstate transportation.”

This is a valid argument.  It is vital that trucks keep delivering everything society needs to keep operating during the emergency. During social unrest, there will always be an element attempting to take advantage of the situation.

One argument between those who want the population disarmed and those who believe the population should have easy access to arms is a small scale, utilitarian one.

People who are voluntarily unarmed have a psychological interest in promoting the idea that having a gun makes a person less safe, and that having a gun has no utility in preventing crime. It reassures them they have made the correct decision by deciding to be unarmed.

It is a difficult argument to make rationally persuasive. Weapons would not exist if they did not provide the possessor with an advantage over the disarmed.

The fallback position, for those who wish the population to be disarmed, is to claim only intensely trained and supervised individual, such as, supposedly, police and military personnel, can gain benefit from being armed.

However, people who have passed through the legal hoops required to obtain carry permits, commit far fewer crimes than do the police. Police tend to train more with firearms than do most military (as difficult as that is to believe).

Commercial truckers go through a similar background check process as do most concealed carry permit holders. Truckers are especially vulnerable to violent crime because of their vocation.

It would be a good test case for the Trump Administration to declare, during this emergency, the exercise of Second Amendment rights by commercial truckers (whose licenses are federally supervised) overrides state powers to regulate firearms. This argument would be bolstered by the power of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce, as granted by the Constitution.

Those who have lived by the abuse of the interstate commerce clause for decades would be feeling the other side of the blade.

It would be a good policy. It would be good politics.

It would be immediately challenged in court. It would send a good message to the appeals courts, and the Supreme Court.

It combines utility, emergency powers, the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause. It would be nearly irresistible for activist district court judges. It would be difficult for the appellate courts to ignore. Such a combination would be very difficult for the current Supreme Court to ignore.

It would not be perfect. Perfect is the enemy of the good, because, those who insist on perfect prevent the good from ever happening.

Such an emergency proclamation would be a double-edged dagger pointed at the heart of the arguments against the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

Will it happen? I suspect not. It is not on the radar of the Trump administration.

Delaware Governor Backs Off, Allows Gun Stores To Stay Open

H/T Bearing Arms.

Governor John Carney(Delusional-DE)made the right call in allowing gun stores to stay open.

A lot of anti-gun governors have looked at the COVID-19 outbreak as all the reason they needed to shut down gun stores. Since these are typically people who want to shut down the stores anyways, it’s entirely likely that the disease is nothing more than a pretext. After all, considering the number of stores still open to the public right now in a lot of “shelter in place” jurisdictions, shutting down gun stores is especially petty.

Unfortunately for many of these governors, they’re finding a much bigger backlash than they expected.

The most recent to learn this lesson? Delaware’s Gov. John Carney.

Firearms stores in Delaware can now accept customers by appointment only, the state said Thursday.

An emergency order from Gov. John Carney to close nonessential businesses was amended to allow the change, following in Pennsylvania’s footsteps.

It comes less than two days after Delaware State Police began issuing cease-and-desist orders to businesses that remained open. By mid-afternoon Thursday, troopers had delivered four letters: three to firearms stores and one to a vape shop.

Gov. John Carney’s modification came at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

“I applaud (Carney) for listening to the store owners and the people and being reactive to the wants and needs of the community and doing the right thing,” said Mitch Denham, founder of Delaware Gun Rights, a 21,000-member Facebook group. “I’m glad to hear that this happened.”

The classification of firearms stores as “nonessential” elicited uproar from gun rights advocates, who said the forced closures were a “direct infringement” on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution.

Both grant citizens the right to bear arms.

In truth, this isn’t the ideal scenario, but Carney and many other governors are trapped in a vicious loop of trying to balance public health with individual liberties. It’s not an enviable position to be in. Allowing them to remain open for appointments at least keeps them open and people working while also providing their communities with the opportunity to buy firearms during this very difficult time.

Like I said, it’s not ideal, but at least the stores are open and people can get guns and ammunition. They just have to have an appointment rather than just being able to pop on over.

The important thing is that Governor Carney is just the latest anti-gun governor to be forced to back off on his desire to shut down gun stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hell, Illinois had the good sense to not even try this kind of thing. That ought to tell you something.

Maybe it’s just me, but if this kind of backlash over temporarily closing gun stores is so severe, maybe it’s time to harness this degree of backlash for the rest of the anti-gun stuff governors like Carney try to inflict in their states. It seems as if there are enough people in these states to have an impact at a time like this, so why not the rest of the time?

Well, it’s possible that some of this is due to new gun buyers and those who are trying to buy guns. I can especially see the latter being a factor. Imagine buying a gun and waiting for it to arrive, only to find out you can’t pick it up when you need it because the governor ordered the stores closed. That would make me pretty angry, that’s for sure. To spend that kind of money on something because you feel like you need it, only to be blocked from taking possession until after the emergency is over?


Regardless, this is a good win for the Second Amendment and I’m damn glad to see it. Now, to see it everywhere else.


Confusion Reigns Over Gun Store Shutdown Orders

H/T Bearing Arms.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has joined New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in ordered his state’s gun stores to close, declaring them non-essential businesses that must shut down temporarily during the state’s declared emergency.

At, Seattle talk show host Jason Rantz says the governor’s move is a major mistake.

During his address, Inslee noted that the media would remain open during the shutdown. Of course, we provide necessary information to inform the public about the coronavirus pandemic. But our speech is also constitutionally protected and there should be a high bar before taking a move that could silence us.

That principle should apply to gun shop owners. Qualified customers who don’t currently own a gun can’t go to a gun shop for the next two weeks to legally purchase one and enjoy their rights as a citizen. That is a problem.

The governor’s office noted in an email to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that these closures are temporary and that goods can still be purchased online. This is an important note as the gun restrictions aren’t across the board.

And, obviously, if you own a gun already, you face no restrictions beyond future purchases and transfers. But keep in mind, Seattle Public Schools, prior to the closures, refused to offer digital classes out of equity concerns: Not everyone has internet or a laptop. A digital-only option would keep kids from their right to an education.

Well, not everyone in the market for a gun has internet or a laptop, either.

To be fair to the governor, I don’t think this is nefarious in its intent. I simply think the unique purpose gun shops serve isn’t being considered. If there were a more pro-gun governor, perhaps we would have a different classification.

Perhaps. While every governor who has ordered gun stores to close is a Democrat, not every Democratic governor has ordered gun stores to close. Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, Illinois’ J.B. Pritzker, and Kentucky’s Andy Beshear have all mandated that gun stores should remain open, and on Tuesday afternoon Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf revised his orders to specify that gun stores can remain in operation as long as they follow specific guidelines on social distancing.

That announcement came Tuesday afternoon, hours after local law enforcement in East Earl, Pennsylvania visited The Sportsman’s Shop and ordered them to close. Jessica Keffer, the store’s marketing manager, revealed the news to customers in a post to the store’s Facebook page.

Jessica was able to join me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to reveal the good news that the store is officially back in operation, and says State Rep. Dan Zimmerman reached out to the East Earl police to let them know that the shop is allowed to operate under the governor’s emergency declaration.

Keffer says the conditions imposed by the governor aren’t ideal, but at least they can continue to serve their customer base via appointments. The store is still receiving shipments of firearms and ammunition, though not as much as need, but Keffer says that’s the situation for virtually every gun store in the country right now that is open for business.

In Los Angeles, meanwhile, Sheriff Alex Villanueva caused massive amounts of confusion, and probably increased panic as well, when he declared on Tuesday that he would be sending deputies out to gun stores in the county and telling them to lock up and shut down, citing any who remained open. Then, Tuesday evening, Los Angeles County Counsel Mary Wickham released an opinion stating that firearms retailers were in fact essential and did not have to close. Late Tuesday evening, Villanueva backed off his order and stated that he would no longer attempt to shutter the stores, unless or until Gov. Gavin Newsom specifically states that gun stores are considered non-essential businesses.

Townhall’s Julio Rosas is riding out the pandemic in Los Angeles, and he also joins me on today’s show to talk about Sheriff Villanueva’s order and the confusion that resulted.

My advice to any of these anti-gun politicians who believe that a state of emergency is the perfect time to enact sweeping restrictions denying people the ability to legally acquire firearms for self-defense: don’t do it. You’ll be sued, but even if you find judges willing to uphold your unconstitutional power grab, you will pay a political price for preventing law-abiding residents from exercising their rights as American citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones during this perilous time.

As we point out in today’s armed citizen story, police may need to depend on armed citizens in the short-term, just as citizens may find their departments understaffed and perhaps overwhelmed as the coronavirus peaks and shut down orders persist. No one that I know is calling for more crime or civil unrest, but that doesn’t mean that either of those things are unthinkable when we try to look even a few weeks into the future. It is entirely reasonable for Washington residents to want a firearm for their protection at the moment, and it’s completely unconscionable for Gov. Inslee to try to deny them of their right to acquire one legally.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Townhall Media on YouTube or the Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co podcast on Apple Podcasts, and thanks as always for watching, listening, and spreading the word. Tune in tomorrow when we’ll be speaking with Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation about several lawsuits the organization is involved in challenging the closure of gun stores.