By: Teresa Mull
In a surprising move, the federal government has deemed gun stores as “essential” businesses that are permitted to remain open during the nationwide Coronavirus shutdown.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
The Department of Homeland Security added gun dealers, ranges, and manufacturers to its essential business coronavirus-response guide on Saturday.
The updated guidance from DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) now considers "workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges" to be essential. Those industry workers are listed under the designation for "law enforcement, public safety, and other first responders."
The change comes after some state and local officials have shut down gun stores and manufacturing plants around the country.
GPM has been tracking so-called “emergency” gun closures that have taken place across the country.
Gun Owners of America responded to the edict by issuing a thank you message, reprinted below:
Springfield, VA – President Trump’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has revised its guidance of critical infrastructure to include the firearms industry as part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure. This revision comes shortly after Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Gun Owners of California (GOC) sent a letter to the administration urging inclusion of the firearms industry.
The guidance specifically includes “[w]orkers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges” as part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure.
GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt said, “It is very encouraging to see CISA include the firearms industry as essential. In these uncertain times, the ability to protect yourself — and to acquire firearms, magazines and ammunition — should not be ignored. GOA/GOC thanks the Trump Administration for listening to our letter and ensuring that Americans can protect themselves in these difficult times.”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.