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New Orleans Mayor Grabs Authority to Ban Gun Sales With Coronavirus Emergency Declaration

The first major city to prepare the possibility.

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New Orleans is the latest American city to declare a state of emergency that gives the mayor to suspend gun sales at her discretion.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s declaration of a state of emergency gives her office the power “if necessary, to suspend or limit the sale of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles.” The order was drafted last week.

Cantrell also now has the authority to suspend the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages.

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The order is ironic, considering New Orleans’ troubled history with emergency gun confiscation. City police enacted gun confiscation operations targeting law-abiding everyday citizens in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, fueling into panic and blunting the effectiveness of hurricane response.

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New Orleans appears to be the second American city to prepare a gun sales ban as part of a state of emergency, following Champaign, Illinois.

New Orleans police have been seen dispersing crowds from the city’s bar district on Magazine Street, ordering citizens to return to their homes and hotels in the midst of the epidemic.

It’s unfortunate that city officials believe lawful exercise of the Second Amendment represents an imminent threat, especially in an era where the general population is concerned for their own safety and security.

Big League Guns

If Democrats Win, Will Guns Sales Go Through the Roof?

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No matter who wins in 2020, the biggest story of this election cycle has been the record levels of gun sales.  In a piece titled “Guns Sales Break Records With Gun Control Legislation Likely If Democrats Win”, Newsweek highlights the meteoric rise of gun sales in 2020 and how these sales will only go up under a Biden administration.

It’s likely that a Biden win on November 3, 2020 will give life to gun control measure such as universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and national gun buybacks. Scott Reeves of Newsweek noted that “coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House” have led to the unprecedented firearms sales.  A Biden win would only accelerate this trend, as people become frightened by the prospect of gun control.

Through September, background checks recorded by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 28.826 million. This total surpassed 2019’s record of 28.369 million, representing a 28 percent increase, according to the FBI report. As of September 30, Illinois was leading the nation in background checks with 5.6 million. Reeves noted that other states such as Kentucky (2.364 million) checks, Texas (1.730 million), Florida (1.386 million), Indiana (1.203 million), California (1.187 million) and Pennsylvania (1.030 million), were also experiencing significant upticks in gun sales.

Since NICS came into effect on November 1998, a total of 361.830 million background checks for all purposes have been completed since the program began in November 1998.

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Zogby Analytics provided some more data showing how enthusiastic Americans are about buying guns:

Zogby Analytics in Utica, New York found that the number of gun owners increased 3.9% between October 2019 and October 2020 to 31.3% of the population. The number of individuals in a household keeping a gun at home, work, vacation cottage or club for personal protection, hunting or target shooting increased 7% to 42.2% in the last year. Membership in the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, increased 6% to 17.7% in the last year, Zogby’s polling found.

“While there is fierce debate in Washington D.C. and among voters about what certain types of guns and accessories constitute ‘assault weapons,’ adults in the U.S. are buying and keeping more guns,” Jonathan Zogby declared.

Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-Second Amendment organization, is of the opinion that uncertainty brought about by the Wuhan virus pandemic, riots, and the election are contributing factors to the rise in gun sales.

“Typically, gun sales rise in times of fear,” he said to Newsweek. “We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear, including fear that there might be more gun regulation with a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in Congress. And, there’s been a lot of unrest.”

Americans actions speak louder than their words. Even if Joe Biden does the unthinkable (and the very unlikely) by winning on November 3, his administration will encounter stiff resistance from gun-owning Americans across the political spectrum.

 

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