Gun Nuts Demanded That Durham Declare Gun Shops Essential. Durham Gave In.

“GOA and GRNC immediately pressed their case to Wake County Board of Commissioners chairman Greg Ford, who quickly reversed course….”


Days after Wake County ordered all nonessential businesses to close on March 27, two gun-rights groups—the Gun Owners Association of America and Grass Roots North Carolina—sent a letter threatening a lawsuit, arguing that the order should not include gun shops.

At the root of their claim was a classification of essential workers issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency. The CISA list Wake County cited in its order, published on March 17, excluded gun stores.

Durham Mayor Steve Schewel

But at the urging of the gun lobby, on March 28—the day after Wake County’s order took effect—CISA amended its list, adding under the section titled, “Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders”: “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

GOA and GRNC immediately pressed their case to Wake County Board of Commissioners chairman Greg Ford, who quickly reversed course—not, he told The News & Observer, because of their complaint, but because “these are routine updates as circumstances change.”

In Durham, Mayor Steve Schewel—whose March 25 stay-at-home order also cited the March 17 CISA list—said he wasn’t backing down.

“We are not going to reconsider gun store sales,” he told the N&O on March 30. “Like all nonessential retail businesses, they are to cease operations immediately.”…

 

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