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MA – RETAILERS – Mass. gun shops back open by judge’s ruling against Baker order

Gun shops in Massachusetts were allowed to reopen Saturday after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the state. Gov. Baker had excluded gun shops from the list of essential businesses allowed to continue operations during the coronavirus emergency. A complaint filed on behalf of gun shops, individuals and Second Amendment groups challenged that decision. “The Plaintiffs bringing this action do not mean to minimize the severity or urgency of the coronavirus pandemic,” they wrote in the complaint. “The exigencies surrounding this viral pandemic both justify and necessitate changes in the manner in which people live their lives and conduct their daily business. However, this emergency—like any other emergency—has its constitutional limits. It would not justify a prior restraint on speech, nor a suspension of the right to vote. Just the same, it does not justify a ban on obtaining guns and ammunition.” Judge Douglas Woodlock heard arguments about the case over teleconference Thursday and granted the motion for a preliminary injunction against the state. The court record showed that the injunction would go into effect at noon on Saturday. On Friday, Woodlock issued his order which contained details of the rules and safety precautions he is ordering licensed firearms dealers to observe. That includes limiting operations to between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. by appointment only. Businesses must provide hand-washing facilities, establish frequent cleaning procedures and erect barriers between employees and customers.  [full article]

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