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CA – RETAILERS – Sheriff Will Not Close San Diego County Gun Stores (VIDEO)

Sheriff Bill Gore said gun shops provide a “valuable public service” during the coronavirus pandemic and will be allowed to remain open, even though they are not included in the state government’s list of “essential businesses.” Speaking at a county news conference Tuesday afternoon, and in a released statement, Gore said county residents have a legitimate right to buy and possess guns. The sheriff said licensed gun stores help maintain public safety by ensuring that buyers submit to a ten-day waiting period and pass a state license check. He warned that gun buyers could turn to the “black market” for illegal weapons if they can’t buy them legally at licensed stores. But Gore said the situation is fluid, and indicated he could change his mind after talking with the state’s top law enforcement officials. Gore’s decision to allow gun stores to stay open contrasts with his counterpart in Los Angeles County, who on Tuesday said gun stores are nonessential businesses and warned store owners to close or risk losing their business licenses. “Gun shops, strip clubs, night clubs are non-essential businesses,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Los Angeles Times. “If they don’t close their doors, they will be cited.” An informal survey of local gun stores by NBC 7 Investigates found at least two stores that have remained open despite the governor’s order for the closure of all non-essential businesses. Those stores are PWG Range in Poway and The Gun Range San Diego in Kearny Mesa. At least two other stores were closed for sales of guns and ammo, and were only delivering those items to buyers who had purchased them before the state-ordered closure. All gun stores contacted in the survey said they have closed their shooting ranges.  [full article]

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