LA County Sheriff Wanted to Ban Gun Sales After He Released Criminals Early, But Got SHUT DOWN
The Sheriff of Los Angeles County is ordering all gun stores in his jurisdiction to close as part of the state’s crackdown on public activity in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic. He’s also releasing more than 1,000 non-violent offenders from the county’s jail system.
Villanueva doesn’t seem to have let up on anti-gun sentiment as the concerned public seeks to arm themselves in unprecedented numbers. He earlier called the notion of purchasing a gun in the midst of the epidemic a “bad idea,” stating that the general public couldn’t be trusted to posses guns safely while they’re restricted to their homes in quarantine.
It wasn’t enough for him to merely discourage the public from arming themselves. As of Tuesday, the sheriff has ordered all of the gun stores in his county to close as nonessential businesses. Villanueva has been designated as the Director of Emergency Operations by the county, leaving decisions such as gun store openings up to his discretion.
He’s combined his shutdown of gun sales with a release of 1,700 non-violent inmates from county jails.
Villanueva’s combination of a crackdown on legal gun acquisition and the release of real criminals from the justice system seems like a textbook method to inspire concern among the general public, especially considering his sheriff’s department has ceased to make arrests for many petty crimes during the epidemic.
But according to the sheriff, it’s new gun owners who can’t be trusted with responsibility. He slammed other state and county politicians for the handling of the state’s comprehensive shelter-in-place order. He claimed elected officials were undermining his deputies tasked with enforcing the order.
Villaneuva’s effort to close the county’s gun stores has been shut down upon intervention of the county counsel.
BREAKING: LA County Sheriff tells me enforcement efforts to close gun stores have been suspended after county counsel intervened w/ a legal opinion that gun stores can be considered an essential business under the Governor’s statewide order. Tells me it’s all in limbo now @FOXLA
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 25, 2020
Villaneuva was unapologetic about his move to shut down gun stores in the midst of the pandemic, claiming the surge of new gun owners represented a great danger that necessitated their closure.