Massachusetts Gun Store Owner Recognizes Only Two Authorities in Defying Shutdown Order

John Costa, owner of The Gunrunner in Middleborough, whose logo pays homage to the Second Amendment, is looking to the Constitution to defend his refusal to close his store, despite being issued a cease-and-desist order from the town on April 2.

“They’re going to have to drag me out of here or kill me, one or the other,” Costa told Glenn Beck on his radio show earlier this month. “They’re not worried about the coronavirus. They’re using that as a backdrop to put us Second Amendment people totally gone, out of business, and that’s the way it is.”

He said he won’t comply with “this insane socialist governor” over the order.

“I will stick to my guns. I will stick to the Constitution which gives me every damn right to stay open,” Costa told MassLive on Thursday. “My boss, I have two leaders, God and Trump. No one else.”

– Caleb Parke in Massachusetts gun store owner invokes ‘God and Trump’ against cease-and-desist order amid coronavirus closures


  1. avatar Ferg in Tahoe says:

    Atta Boy!

  2. avatar GS650G says:

    Good for him. I hope he has enough capital to stay afloat

    1. avatar Nickel Plated says:

      Hope he has reinforcements for when the cops show up.
      Bundy Ranch 2: Constitution Boogaloo.

      1. avatar MLee says:

        They’ll do it all sneaky like. They’ll pull him over away from his shop, pull a bunch of guns on him.

  3. avatar TXRabbit47 says:

    “…has enough capital to stay afloat…”
    So, we need to start a GoFundMe if he doesn’t.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      I’ve never started one, so am therefore unfamiliar with the process, but have donated to some. If anyone ever finds a GFM for this gentleman, please post a link, and I’ll gladly contribute, as he might end up having legal fees to pay if his situation ends up in a court battle or arrest.

    2. avatar forp says:

      I believe that’s his shops website. I’m sure we could find something to buy to keep his doors open.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Just looked. Don’t need any more guns, so ammo?…oh wait…The Ninth just placed a stay on Benitez’ recent injunction on our CA ammo BGC law, so that window was open only two days and is now shut again while the case gathers mold in the Ninth’s bottom drawer. Accessories?…I don’t see anything listed for purchase. Looks like the store is, unfortunately, a smaller one that relies on foot traffic coming in through their brick-and-mortar front door.

        1. avatar forp says:

          The ammo decision is a very unfortunate event. I also looked and couldn’t find too many accessories to buy. Maybe give them a call and see if there are other options. We need to keep people and places like this around.

  4. avatar Raymond P Clark says:

    What a great American! Love him. Glad he is taking a stand. I will keep tabs on this story. I want John to be successful.

  5. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    Too many politicians , media flunkies etc. have made up exceptions to our constitutional rights in the past, time to put a stop to it. Way to go sir. I remember Bill Clinton’s remark that went something like this,” the problem is people have too many rights”.

  6. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

    Invoking God and Trump as one’s higher powers might lead some to question the man’s sanity.

    1. avatar Ferg in Tahoe says:

      Or most likely, that he’s a good man.

      1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

        Is Esoteric Inanity then to understand that, according to Ferg in Tahoe, a good man is one that tacitly elevates a mere mortal to being equivalent with the Almighty?

        To a devout believer, this could be considered heresy. To an agnostic and adamant believer in the U.S. Constitution, like this one, it would seem myopic to put the President of the United States over themselves in the same way that they would God. The position of POTUS, while admirable and deserving respect, is hardly divine or above any other countrymen in regard to morality or equivalence. Where authority is concerned, it is by the consent of the people that he is allowed to govern.

        Admittedly, none of this has any bearing on whether or not said person is “a good man”.

        1. avatar Debbie W. says:

          It simply and I mean simply says he’s clearly not a mealy mouth dirty diaper democRat.

        2. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

          @Debbie W.

          Perhaps, but such people are hardly a paragon of logical consistency.

        3. avatar Hush says:

          “Costa told MassLive on Thursday. “My boss, I have two leaders, God and Trump. No one else.”
          In this statement Mr Costa does not directly state or imply that President Trump is on the same level as God. If anything is implied it is that God is first since God is listed first in the list of leaders. Mr Costa is merely saying that both God and Trump are his leaders. Leaders is plural and one can be the leader just as the other. It is a list of leaders and nothing more.
          Also, it appears that Mr Costa is responding to a question e.g., who is your boss?, when he says “My boss” and then he continues to answer the question with specifics by saying, “I have two leaders, God and Trump. No one else.” Now don’t you think you owe Chris T in KY an apology?

        4. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:


          “In this statement Mr Costa does not directly state or imply that President Trump is on the same level as God. If anything is implied it is that God is first since God is listed first in the list of leaders. Mr Costa is merely saying that both God and Trump are his leaders. Leaders is plural and one can be the leader just as the other. It is a list of leaders and nothing more.
          Also, it appears that Mr Costa is responding to a question e.g., who is your boss?, when he says “My boss” and then he continues to answer the question with specifics by saying, “I have two leaders, God and Trump. No one else.” “

          Fair points, but can one not interpret two entities stated to both be “leaders” to share an equivalency if not in anything more than title?

          Esoteric Inanity will try to be more cogent and less sardonic:

          Mr. Costa likely knows that Trump isn’t God, but does he also know that the office of the president is far from the be all and end all governing agency in the U.S.?

          If Hush was unaware(Apologies in advance for any didactic tone inferred), the U.S. of A. is technically a Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic.

          Federal in the sense of federalism, meaning that power is divided between the state and federal levels(Please see 10th Amendment for further reference; also article 1, section 8 and article 4 of the constitution).

          Presidential, meaning that the President is effectively the head of the Executive branch of the federal government(Admittedly, one might say leader. Reference article 2 of the constitution), while each state has its own powers and authorities independent of the federal government(Again see 10th Amendment).

          Constitutional, meaning that the government’s(both state and federal) power is limited by the Constitution(Including state constitutions, reference Bill of Rights & 14th Amendment section 1).

          Finally, Republic in the sense that all power of the government is derived from the people(See the writing of John Locke). In other words, Trump may currently be the President but his, along with all other elected official’s powers are given only by the consent of the governed a.k.a. the people.

          TLDR: Trump does not have sole discretion to manage Mr. Costa’s affairs and business. That Mr. Costa seems to imply such is greatly disconcerting to this one. Mr. Costa has his own inalienable rights that must not be infringed by any representative or entity of the government.

          “Now don’t you think you owe Chris T in KY an apology?”

          A different matter/conversation entirely. However, if Hush would like to discuss it, then by all means this one is open to a conversation. Although, if he only wishes to level unfounded accusations and assumptions(As Chris T in KY appeared to do), then by all means; but there is little chance for any productive dialogue.

    2. avatar Coolbreeze says:

      If you have God, you don’t need Trump.

      1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

        “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

  7. avatar Prndll says:

    I salute you sir.

  8. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    He has the principals of the founding progenators did on April 19 th. 1775 ,when the “Shot Heard Round The World” originated from Concord and Lexington.
    That the cause is the same, tyrannical overreach, if the would be betters do not take a cue from history they will find themselves in much the same position, totalitarian Leftists learn, Never.

  9. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    It’s Liberal Fascism. This is no different than when the government forces a bakery to bake a homosexual wedding cake and the owner refuses. The government will send guns to that Bakery to shut it down. Just as the government will send guns to shut down this man’s gun store business.

    Same when a clerk refused to sign a gay marriage certificate. The government put her in jail.
    Its not about a cake or who you have sex with.
    It’s about your Liberty as an American citizen.

    1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

      While Esoteric Inanity is mostly in agreement with Chris T in KY’s statement, he has an inquiry regarding this portion:

      “Same when a clerk refused to sign a gay marriage certificate. The government put her in jail.“

      Just out of curiosity, what would Chris T in KY’s opinion be should said clerk have refused a marriage certificate between a white couple or a mixed race(White/whatever) couple on account of one or more parties being white? Or one party being significantly older than the other? Or perhaps one is an atheist while the other a devout person of faith?

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        First of all I’m glad that you’re declaring yourself to agree with a government that says no business has a right to be in business unless the government says so.

        Second of all I would say that you would probably agree that the Klu Klux Klan has every right to walk on to the private property of a black person and burn a cross on their front lawn. Because that is exactly what the ACLU supported just a few years ago.

        And I’m sure being a member of the Libertarians Liberals and the Left you to be very much against that black homeowner defending his private property with deadly force. Because the Three L’s don’t support you defending your private property.

        And third racially integrated couples that wanted to get married if they could not get married where they lived, they simply went to a different County or even a different state if necessary. It seems you’re unaware of libertarian philosophy. Which has stated that racial discrimination is okay with them.

        Libertarians have said the government should get out of the business of marriage. Which it was that way in this country. Up until turn of the century. You got married in a church a private business transaction.

        Based on your asinine comment I would assume that you support the government closing down a church who refused to marry a gay couple on church property. You went to a different church if the pastor refused to marry you. That is what I had to do. And I’m ok with that.

        But please don’t leave TTAG. I like it when anti-civil rights bigots out themselves. You’re one of those members of the three L’s who supports the civil right to protest in front of a military recruiting center and block the entrance. But you don’t have a right to protest at an abortion clinic and block the entrance.

        1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

          A shame that civil discourse, or reading comprehension, doesn’t appear to be one of Chris T in KY’s strong points. This one will have to make a mental note that any inquiries directed towards him will always be met with hyperbolic accusations/assumptions. A shame as the original statement appeared to show a great deal of insight with the exception of the incongruous portion.

        2. avatar Abstruse Asininity says:

          Abstruse Asininity must plead for forgiveness on behalf of this one’s younger sibling, Esoteric Inanity. Therapists were consulted throughout a lengthy span of Esoteric Inanity’s youth, to ascertain why arguments are constantly spun with the veneer of erudite superiority. Esoteric’s tendency to disorient fellow conversationalists via clouds of erudite word clouds has always been a source of befuddlement.

        3. avatar GuyInWI says:

          @ Crossdresser in K and T you also have no clue what a Libertarian is.

        4. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

          “Abstruse Asininity must plead for forgiveness on behalf of this one’s younger sibling, Esoteric Inanity.“

          Mother always did love this one more.

        5. avatar Abstruse Asininity says:

          “Mother always did love this one more.”

          Abstruse Asininity will concede this, and does not in any way wish to diminish the love Mother lavished upon Esoteric Inanity. After all, considering the rather unfortunate facial features Esoteric was born with (local children from our youth would make comparisons to Sloth from the film “The Goonies”), Mother was understandably compelled to balance such insults with increased maternal protections. Father was also compassionate, and forbade mirrors within the home to prevent Esoteric from witnessing any disturbing reflections until Esoteric was of adult age and able to handle the shock.

    2. avatar GuyInWI says:

      Yeah but it’s ok for businesses open to the public to deny people who carry guns even though that is a constitutional right.

      Can’t wait to hear all the whiners here complaining about business rights. Especially like the moron who likend it to someone showing up to my house armed. My house is not open to the public with posted hours, maybe yours is? Pretty sure all of that went over most your heads.

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Besides the 1st and 2nd the third most important thing we have as American citizens is property rights. Sadly far to many guns owners on TTAG have no clue about property rights. And what it means.

  10. avatar NORDNEG says:

    AWESOME, … only prob I can see is its Massachusetts, they want full control over their people. I don’t see the political wannabes in that state letting him get away with telling them to buzz off.
    Hope he has a lot of support from the 2-A crowd. & yes a go fund me page wouldn’t hurt.
    A lot of Massholes there.

  11. avatar LifeSavor says:

    Every Day Hero. Patriot.

  12. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    If I still lived in the People’s Republic, I would definitely patronize his shop!

  13. avatar former water walker says:

    Good luck oldtimer. You’ll need it…what say you Ralph?

  14. avatar Brasstard says:

    So Obama would be his boss too? Trump is a gun banner, take the guns first, change the fullauto definition, ban property, not follow through on campaign promise to recind previous presidents executive orders on guns, not even change it so century can bring in those M1 rifles and carbines, stop the hearing protection act and national reciprocity etc…. what a great supporter of the 2A

    1. avatar Dave says:

      I am all for pointing out his flaws, but nobody who voted for him expected him to be Chuck Heston on the second amendment. He was simply the only chip we had to play in that card game in 2016.
      If Hillary had gotten elected instead, just imagine how many left wing judges she would have appointed by now. If the liberals get a clear majority on the supreme Court, the second amendment is a dead letter after that.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Yes, agreed. Trump has been a champion on many fronts, but in regards to the 2A, he was simply the better of the two evils presented to us in 2016. Fortunately, he has been solid in his judicial appointments. But it takes a long time for a large ship to turn around, so we must be patient.

    2. avatar Debbie W. says:

      I’ve had enough of clowns who have more freedom and access to the most accurate and best firearms and ammo ever made turn around and hold hands with democRats to bash the POTUS. Make up your damned spoiled brat mind which side of the fence you want to be on and stay there.

  15. avatar Wayne says:

    John was on Liberty Doll’s Youtube live show last night. This old geezer has the spunk of a 25 year old. I don’t think I stopped smiling or laughing the entire show. He got fired up and started talking about his heart pace maker and hoping it doesn’t go off.

  16. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Well gun control zealots the ball is in your court. Let’s see if you ratbassturds will do to this man what your Jim Crow ancestors did to Black Americans who simply sat down in restrarants and wanted to be served like everyone else and wanted an education like everyone else and wanted their 2A right to live without fear of being terrorized by the KKK, etc.
    Today if you Love God, Country, Family and The United States Constitution you are obviously the wrong color in the eyes of sicko gun control zealots.

  17. avatar 9x39 says:

    Good on him. That is all.

  18. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    He is wrong on part of it. The president, no matter who he is, is the employee of the American people not our leader. His only job is to carry out the will of the American people as expressed by the laws passed by the Congress. He is not your leader unless you are a Federal government employee.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      It would be great if the Public School Systems actually taught children that. Unfortunately they don’t. At least not in the last 40 to 50 years.

    2. avatar Debbie W. says:

      The POTUS is the CINC. You need to look up the definition of the word commander and the word chief.
      As it pertains to the gun store owner standing his ground the POTUS sees the 2A as essential. That probably motivated the store owner to classify the POTUS as being a leader as defined by Webster’s. Not a democrat dear leader.

  19. avatar Hannibal says:

    “My boss, I have two leaders, God and Trump. No one else.”

    The words of a cultist. And probably one that talks about “state’s rights” any time before 2016.

  20. avatar adverse6 says:

    Moses made a minor god of nomads a super star. We elected Trump. I’m sure the shop owner was being facetious.

    1. avatar Ironicatbest says:

      Moses was an Egyptian shill

  21. avatar Ironicatbest says:

    My President forgot to mention what type of disinfectant I should inject myself with.

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