A Massachusetts gun store is remaining open even after Governor Charlie Baker labeled firearm retail establishments “non-essential” and directive them to close under the commonwealth’s state of emergency declaration.
John Costa, owner of The Gunrunner in Middleboro, believes that the Second Amendment provides his gun store with authorization to remain open.
Costa explained that “under the second amendment we have every right to defend ourselves,” justifying the operations of The Gunrunner. Business has been booming at the store according to Costa, with unprecedented amounts of gun purchasers patronizing the establishment despite Baker’s command that they stay away.
Baker expressed discontent at a Wednesday press conference upon learning that some gun stores in the commonwealth were remaining open.
“They shouldn’t have been open last week. The only folks on the firearm side that have been essential been in Massachusetts since we issued the initial order are manufacturers.”
Costa is practicing social distancing measures, as well. He’s not even letting customers to enter the physical space of his store. Instead, potential gun buyers are describing the kind of gun they want for Costa to bring it out to them curbside. It’s hard to imagine more stringent social distancing measures being utilized by any business, but it’s not good enough for the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The store has received a cease-and-desist order from town officials after declining to close in accordance with state directives. Gun stores aren’t included as essential retailers in the proclamation issued by Massachusetts’ nominally Republican governor, and he’s going to greater lengths to close them than progressive Democrats in states such as New Jersey and California. Governors and sheriffs in both states caved when the Trump administration declared firearms retailers to be essential businesses under updated DHS guidelines, but Baker is steadfast in insisting that gun retailers close.
Americans have shattered previous monthly records for firearms purchases during the month of March, showing a desire to lawfully acquire arms that correlates sharply with the coronavirus epidemic. With an unprecedented demand for guns among the public, policy makers should think twice about arbitrarily demanding the industry shut down.
150 Firearms Stolen From Albuquerque Gun Store by “Sophisticated” Thieves
The thieves were “sophisticated.”
150 pistols and rifles were stolen from an Albuquerque gun store earlier this week, in what authorities are calling one of the biggest thefts of firearms in the southwestern United States in recent history.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms state that a group of thieves made off with more than 115 handguns and 35 rifles during the heist, which occurred early on Monday morning. Authorities are claiming the thieves, who worked in a group, acted with a “level of sophistication,” cutting the power to JCT Firearms and disabling the building’s security system before getting inside and stealing the guns. The thieves also disabled the gun store’s surveillance system.
Authorities have entered the serial numbers of all the stolen firearms into a national database, but are saying it ranges from possible to likely that the guns will be taken to Mexico. “That’s a tremendous amount of firepower in the hands of criminals,” said Tom Mangas, an ATF spokesman. “This is a priority for us.”
Albuquerque police are saying there’s no indication that the massive theft is linked to the nationwide race riots that have surfaced in the city, but the timing is conspicuous. More than two million Americans have become legal gun owners in the past two months, and the theft appears to indicate that criminals are seeking to arm themselves as well.
The ATF is offering a $10,000 reward to information leading to criminal charges in the burglary, a sum that is being matched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
In a national moment where racial tensions are boiling, the theft of the firearms by criminals poses a serious danger to the Albuquerque community, and the American public broadly.
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