JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Gun rights restricted during coronavirus shutdown order in Washington

Mar 24, 2020, 10:28 PM | Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 10:24 am
coronavirus shutdown, guns...
(Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Some gun rights are restricted after Governor Jay Inslee declared a coronavirus shutdown of non-essential businesses. Though you have a constitutional right to own a firearm, gun retailers must close. This limits your ability to enjoy your rights.

While there have been questions over what jobs are considered “essential” (which allows them to stay open during the stay-at-home order), the Governor’s office confirmed that gun shops must close down temporarily.

It’s a confusing move.

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Coronavirus shutdown hits gun rights

The list of essential services is surprisingly long. Economically speaking, that’s a good thing. If people are being safe and smart, I want as little impact to the economy as possible during this coronavirus shutdown.

But gun shops should be open and declared essential because they’re businesses that allow us to engage in a constitutionally protected right.

During his address, Inslee noted that the media would remain open during the shutdown. Of course, we provide necessary information to inform the public about the coronavirus pandemic. But our speech is also constitutionally protected and there should be a high bar before taking a move that could silence us.

That principle should apply to gun shop owners. Qualified customers who don’t currently own a gun can’t go to a gun shop for the next two weeks to legally purchase one and enjoy their rights as a citizen. That is a problem.

Online. Temporary

The governor’s office noted in an email to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that these closures are temporary and that goods can still be purchased online. This is an important note as the gun restrictions aren’t across the board.

And, obviously, if you own a gun already, you face no restrictions beyond future purchases and transfers. But keep in mind, Seattle Public Schools, prior to the closures, refused to offer digital classes out of equity concerns: Not everyone has internet or a laptop. A digital-only option would keep kids from their right to an education.

Well, not everyone in the market for a gun has internet or a laptop, either.

To be fair to the governor, I don’t think this is nefarious in its intent. I simply think the unique purpose gun shops serve isn’t being considered. If there were a more pro-gun governor, perhaps we would have a different classification.

Rethink this, Governor Inslee

Not only should gun shops be considered essential because of the constitutional protections, it’s a shop that almost always already adheres to social distancing.

It’s not often your average gun store is at capacity. These shops are usually small and not frequented by many customers at once. The larger ones are spacious enough to adhere to our six-feet of buffer guidance.

I hope the governor reconsiders this move.

Los Angeles gun store update

Los Angeles has a similar problem of gun shops being closed. In their case, there was intervention by the sheriff.

Will there be a stunning reversal here? Contact Jay Inslee and ask.

Abortion protected, though.

In an email from the Governor’s office, they confirmed that elective abortion is still permitted during the stay-at-home order. Gun rights? Put on hold. There’s purposefully no consistency here. Both should be permitted during the shutdown.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

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Rantz: Gun rights restricted during coronavirus shutdown order in Washington