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VA – GUN SHOWS – Virginia gun show organizer files suit against Northam’s tightened coronavirus rules

A Virginia gun-show organizer is seeking a court-ordered exemption from Gov. Ralph Northam’s newly tightened coronavirus restrictions, arguing that the rules would force the cancellation of an event near Dulles International Airport this weekend that would probably attract several thousand people. In a lawsuit filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Showmasters, Inc. said state restrictions that went into effect Monday would effectively shut down its three-day “Nation’s Gun Show” exhibition, scheduled to start Friday at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, by limiting capacity for places classified as “entertainment and business” venues to 250 people at a time. The group and a gun vendor who joined the lawsuit plan to argue for a temporary injunction against the state restrictions during an emergency court hearing scheduled for Thursday, claiming the new rules violate gun owners’ rights and the vendor will lose at least $70,000 in revenue. “The show takes months to put together and it is too late a notice for most of these businesses to recoup their losses,” Showmasters, Inc., said in a statement posted to the event’s website, referring to the several hundred gun vendors it says are already en route to Virginia from as far away as Florida and Texas. Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) said the gun show has the potential to “very quickly become a superspreader event” if allowed to operate outside the new restrictions. “Holding a massive gun show for the sole purpose of selling firearms is not worth the disastrous toll it will take on the health of our communities,” Herring said in a statement. “As we continue to see COVID cases surge around the country, even here in Virginia, we must all do our part to keep each other, our families, and our loved ones safe.”  [full article]

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