VICTORY: Pennsylvania Governor Backtracks on Emergency Gun Store Ban, Will Allow Them to Open on ‘Limited Basis’
The governor of Pennsylvania has walked back his order to close all gun retailers in the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to lift the ban, on a “limited basis,” comes just days after the state’s Supreme Court sided with Governor Tom Wolf and allowed the shutdown.
Under Wolf’s new order, gun stores will be allowed to open, but only “to complete only the portions of a sale/transfer that must be conducted in-person under the law,” likely referring to the completion of a background check, which must be done in person, the Free Beacon reports.
Gun retailers in the state were shut down on Monday under Wolf’s executive order that closed all businesses that are not considered to be “life sustaining.” Gun rights groups argued before the Supreme Court that this should include weapons retailers, but they were denied on Sunday evening.
The new order says that stores must operate on an “individual appointment” basis and only “during limited hours.” Dealers must also “comply with social distancing, sanitization of applicable area between appointments, and other mitigation measures to protect its employees and the public.” It uses recommendations made by three dissenting Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices on Sunday night, who urged the governor to allow the stores to remain open on a limited basis.
Whether or not gun shops are considered essential has been varying state by state. In Illinois, for example, gun stores have been allowed to stay open. In California and New Jersey, they have been ordered to close.
Both the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation are exploring lawsuits in states where the shops have been shut down or impeded.