Illinois Mayor May Ban Guns, Firearms Sales Over Coronavirus Panic
An Illinois mayor has signed an executive order taking up wide-ranging emergency powers that she claims gives her the authority to halt the sale of all firearms and ammunition. The declaration is being framed as a response to the Chinese coronavirus.
Champaign, Illinois Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen signed the declaration Friday morning. The executive order declares a state of emergency in the city, and gives the mayor a wide set of powers to use during the period. The declaration touches upon a wide range of commercial and civic activity as liable to the mayor’s shutdown.
The document uses the phrasing of giving the mayor power to “Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever.”
Mayor Feinen now claims the power to ban gun and ammo sales, the sale of alcohol, the opening of bars and taverns, and the sale of gasoline. The executive order also gives her the power to shut down electrical services and to take possession of private property within the city.
There aren’t any confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city, or in Central Illinois altogether. It’s extremely doubtful that the city of Champaign needs restrictions on gun and ammo purchases.
The city manager claims the city needs to wide-ranging powers “to properly respond to the emergency needs of our community. None of the options will necessarily will be implemented but are available in order to protect the welfare and safety of our community if needed.”
Such policies are reminiscent of disastrous gun confiscation attempts enacted in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when local law enforcement wasted time rounding up legally owned firearms from private citizens while distressed citizens were ignored.
Ammunition sales have been said to soar in recent days and weeks as citizens prepare for the pandemic.