New Jersey Reverses Course, Says Gun Stores Can Re-Open

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(ThePatriotSource.Com)- Nine days after issuing an executive order that included gun stores on his list of non-essential businesses that were forced to close, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy reversed course Monday and said those businesses would be allowed to re-open.

Murphy, a Democrat, forced all non-essential businesses to close in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state, and gun stores weren’t originally on the list of stores that could remain open. That sparked lawsuits from a variety of different organizations that fight for gun rights.

After the Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines over the weekend that gun stores should be deemed “critical infrastructure,” Murphy and his government decided to make changes.

During a news briefing on Monday, Murphy said the gun stores can re-open but that sales had to be done “by appointment only and under limited hours.” He continued:

“In accordance with the guidance released over the weekend by the federal Department of Homeland Security, we will allow firearms sellers to operate. It wouldn’t have been my definition, but that’s the definition at the federal level. I didn’t get a vote on that.”

It’s pretty obvious that Murphy doesn’t agree with DHS labeling gun stores as essential businesses, but he’s decided to make the change anyway. Sales of guns in New Jersey will be allowed to resume on Thursday.

When he initially banned the opening of gun stores on March 21, gun advocate groups made a lot of noise, arguing that the move was circumventing people’s rights under the Second Amendment. Murphy’s response to that:

“I respect the Second Amendment. I have gotten not one complaint from anybody that they were trying to buy a gun and they couldn’t.”

That’s a little hard to believe, as it’s pretty difficult to buy a gun in a state such as New Jersey at a place other than a dedicated gun store. It was made even more difficult — if not impossible — to purchase a gun in New Jersey because Murphy’s initial executive order closed the state’s background check system. Gun sales in the state can’t happen without a background check.

Gun advocates praised Murphy’s decision, and thanked the federal government for updating its guidance so that local governments throughout the country would be influenced to make changes to their policies.

Spokesman for the National Rifle Association, Lars Dalseide, said:

“New Jersey’s decision to recognize gun stores as ‘essential’ is all thanks to President Trump and the DHS’s decision to declare firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors and shooting ranges as critical infrastructure to remain open during any state shutdown.”

And as Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said:

“This underscores the importance of why we worked with the White House and the Department of Homeland Security to get firearms businesses listed as essential critical infrastructure. This designation is crucial to allowing for commerce in firearms and the ability of Americans to exercise their Second Amdendment rights.”