Hands off our guns.
A Second Amendment group filed a lawsuit Monday that claims New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy violated the Constitution when he ordered gun stores closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.
NJ.com reported that Murphy issued an executive order that failed to list firearms shops as an essential business, like a pharmacy, supermarket or gas station. Liquor stores are included with businesses considered essential.
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The governor said he was “comfortable where we landed” when asked about the order at a press conference.
“Per Executive Order 107, (Murphy) is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public,” a notice on the online system states. “At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers,” the order read, according to the report.
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The New Jersey Second Amendment Society was far less comfortable about where he landed and filed a lawsuit in federal court. The report pointed to an example in the suit about a New Jersey resident who wanted to but a gun to “protect himself and his wife in the event that the situation developed such that emergency services were unavailable or were not reliably available.”
Gun dealerships across the U.S. have reported a surge in firearms sales amid the coronavirus outbreak and the government’s sweeping response to try and limit the disease’s spread. There’s a worry that the government could employ some kind of emergency measure that directly affects gun sales.
Murphy’s decision to leave gun shops out of the essential business bracket meant that the online portal for background checks was shut down, the NJ.com report said.
Gov. Ned Lamont, D-Conn., announced Monday that gun stores were “essential” and could stay open during the state’s stay at home order that takes effect at 8 p.m. Monday. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D-Ill., also issued an executive order that listed gun stores as “essential” businesses.
“When an anti-gun Democrat Governor declares that essential businesses includes firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security, that is really a big deal. Every Governor should copy the Illinois example when issuing stay in place and business closure orders in the face of the Corona Virus,” Alan Gottlieb, a gun-rights advocate, told Breitbart.