Some heated debate between County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and San Diego County Gun Owners after Fletcher suggested that San Diego gun stores ought to be closed down as “nonessential” businesses. His words drew harsh criticism from gun owners and gun stores alike
Gun shops have been established as essential businesses by the Department of Homeland Security for quite some time now, so it’s surprising that there was even a debate in the first place over whether they should remain open in light of the coronavirus-induced closures.
Thankfully, here in San Diego, we know how to follow the law. In accordance with the pre-established definitions from the Department of Homeland Security, Sheriff Bill Gore stated that gun shops provide a “valuable public service” during the coronavirus pandemic and will be allowed to remain open. Gore pointed out that licensed gun stores help protect public safety, by ensuring that buyers obey the 10-day waiting period and pass a background check. He also noted that closing gun stores may incentivize the creation of a black market, which would be a disaster for a variety of reasons.
Though this statement directly contradicts those made by Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles, it’s clear why Gore’s decision was the right one. In a time of national panic, many Americans have turned to gun shops for the security of purchasing a firearm per their constitutional rights. Some stores have chosen to close, and most have closed their shooting ranges regardless, but a few gun stores remain open during the pandemic while practicing proper social distancing to protect customers.
These valuable businesses have the right to choose to remain open in these trying times, so long as they practice good social distancing and disease prevention. In any case, San Diego can rest assured that they’ll be able to purchase guns and ammo—and support these local businesses—amidst the COVID-19 panic.