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Are Gun Stores An Essential Business? It’s Up To CA’s Governor To Decide




A cyclist rides past the Martin B. Retting, Inc. guns store as the coronavirus pandemic continues on March 24, 2020 in Culver City, California. L.A.
A cyclist rides past the Martin B. Retting, Inc. guns store as the coronavirus pandemic continues on March 24, 2020 in Culver City, California. L.A.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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Sheriff Villanueva has said that he’ll put a pause on gun store closure efforts until further clarification from the Governor.

gun stores tweet

Earlier this week, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva had declared that gun stores were non-essential businesses and should be shut down. This was met with an opposing opinion from the LA County Counsel’s office, which said that since neither the Governor’s nor the County’s orders mentioned gun shops specifically, they should be deemed essential.

Amidst rising gun sales, several other states, for example Pennsylvania, have also clashed on whether gun stores qualify as an essential business and whether business can be curbed or shut down. 

How does the Second Amendment figure into this conversation? And in what ways can a constitutional right be curtailed during a public health crisis?

We reached out to CA Governor Newsom’s Office. They did not get back to us in time for the interview. 

Guest:

Eugene Volokh, law professor at UCLA; he tweets @VolokhC