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Opinion: Gun Stores Should Be Forced to Close

Order must be revised to deem these businesses non-essential

Published on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 5:53 pm

According to recent footage shot on Monday, people are lining up at these stores, many of whom have never owned a firearm before, to buy weapons.

It’s time for Gov. Gavin Newsom and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to step up and shut them down.

I get that the lines are long, and store owners want to make money, but so do the owners of restaurants, movie theaters and hair salons— all of which have followed the rules and closed their doors.

Yes, many responsible gun store owners did close their stores. Others began offering take-out-like service so customers could pick up their purchases, but some continue to operate.

On Monday, the leaders in the Pasadena Police Department discussed a local gun store which remains open and declared that the store could remain open.

“We are monitoring the situation,” Police Chief John Perez told Pasadena Now.

“There is not a wave of people there buying guns,” Perez said. “We are waiting for some guidance from the state. They know our concern but a determination has not been made.”

While Pasadena leaders were contemplating the local situation, Sheriff Alex Villanueva was trying to shut down gun stores in unincorporated parts of L.A. County.

Since last week, Villanueva, himself a gun owner, has voiced concerns over how many people are buying guns.

He backed down after the county’s attorney issued an opinion that gun stores are an essential business.

Neither Perez nor Villanueva should have to make a call on deciding if a business is essential or non-essential during this pandemic. That’s the job of state and local leaders, and they need to act.

Children are home from school, and if an irresponsible parent leaves a loaded firearm someplace it shouldn’t be, the results could be tragic.

A gun in a child’s hands — or the wrong hands — is also a health emergency.

It’s time for Newsom to revise the order and close them down.

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