In a bold but unsurprising move, the Trump administration declared business within the firearms industry, including gun stores, shooting ranges, etc., are to be considered “essential” businesses providing “critical” services during the national shutdown.
The Cybersecurity and InfrastrucTture Security Agency (CISA) made the distinction on Saturday, adding the industry to essential services like grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, food production, telecommunications, and a lengthy list of others.
The agency clarified that this was NOT national mandate but rather guidance for states, cities, and towns on how to determine their business closings.
On the CISA website, it says that during this global health crisis, the list should help as governments “work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”
Gun control groups are clearly critical of this new addition to the list of essential services while gun rights groups are praising the choice.
According to the Associated Press, the nonprofit group Brady, which works to prevent gun violence, used the Freedom of Information Act to petition to find out just why the firearms industry was added to the list.
Brady’s chief counsel, Jonathan Lowy, said, “It’s a public health issue, not a Second Amendment issue.
The fact is that guns, the nature of guns, require that they be sold with a lot of close interaction.
They can’t be sold from vending machines, can’t be sold with curbside pickup.”
On the flipside, The National Rifle Association was obviously thrilled with this turn of events, praising Trump via Twitter for “once again keeping his promise to protect the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans.”
Meanwhile, add guns and ammunition to the list of hot ticket items like hand sanitzer and toilet paper as Americans panic shop and send sales through the roof.
The AP reported that background checks have skyrocketed up a whopping 300% from this same time last year.
USA Today reported that many retailers are now limiting sales due to the early supply shortages as the coronavirus hit the US.
Drew Plotkin of LA said, “People are scared… There’s a lot of panic in the world and people want to be protected for the worst-case scenario.”