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Gun Stores Provide an “Essential Service?” Some Think So.

Posted Thursday, April 2, 2020 by Andrew Charles Huff

Governor Inslee’s emergency “stay-at-home” order mandates that all non-essential businesses be temporarily closed while the state and nation combat the coronavirus or Covid-19.

But several gun owners in the state are saying “not so fast.” Many firearm sellers are arguing they never received any direct written demand from the state to close up shop. Others argue that owning a gun is a protected right and therefore stores supporting this right should remain open as an “essential service.” And some in law enforcement agree including Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney, who has requested that Inslee designate gun stores as “essential.” But Sheriff Fortney also argues that closing down gun stores “threatens the continued operations” of law enforcement because some agencies depend on local dealers for ammunition and firearms.” Therefore, he is seeking some clarification from the Governor about the order and will enforce what the state requires.

Gun stores remaining open are taking social distancing measures and limiting how many customers can enter.

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