Good news from the Keystone State. Sort of. Democrat Governor Tom Wolf has reversed course in the face of pending litigation and has allowed Pennsylvania gun shops to reopen on a limited basis. Of course, he has mandated a long list of hurdles for dealers to navigate, but at least buyers can still acquire guns and ammunition.
Wolf initially ordered gun shops stores as “non-essential” businesses in his Chinese virus emergency declaration. This was on top of some local jurisdictions blocking the issuance of carry licenses in the Keystone State.
Clearly, the gun store closure order didn’t go over well with Pennsylvanians wanting to buy personal protection tools. What’s more, it didn’t go over well with gun rights activists either.
Yesterday, Governor Wolf saw the writing on the wall and backtracked on his earlier order.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
Pennsylvania gun stores will remain open on a limited basis after Democratic governor Tom Wolf reversed course on his emergency coronavirus shut-down order on Tuesday.
The governor will allow gun dealers to reopen their stores, but his order still severely restricts what they are allowed to do. The updated order says gun stores may only operate “to complete only the portions of a sale/transfer that must be conducted in-person under the law,” likely referring to the completion of a background check, which must be done in person.
The move comes as demand for firearms has surged in the wake of the pandemic, as a number of police departments, including Philadelphia’s, have announced they will no longer arrest people committing certain crimes. The Democrat amended the order just two days after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied an emergency request from Second Amendment activists challenging the gun store shutdown. Other states and localities are issuing orders similar to Wolf’s, but there has been no clear consensus among them on whether gun stores should be among the exempted businesses.
The order requires that stores must operate on an “individual appointment” basis and only “during limited hours.” Dealers must also “comply with social distancing, sanitization of applicable area between appointments, and other mitigation measures to protect its employees and the public,” according to the updated order.
If Governor Wolf really cared about freedom and liberty, he would oppose gun control laws and other government control schemes. America should progress toward a future of freedom, instead of trying to reenact past tyrannies.
The Second Amendment Foundation issued this statement regarding Wolf’s reversal:
The Second Amendment Foundation is applauding Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to recognize that gun dealers are essential to public safety, and has updated the list of life sustaining businesses to allow Keystone State gun owners to exercise their fundamental constitutional rights.
Wolf’s reversal came after the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court had ruled against an emergency legal challenge by several Second Amendment groups to the governor’s earlier order to close “non-life-sustaining” businesses due to the Coronavirus panic, but did not get to the merits of the case.
“Gov. Wolf’s change of heart is a welcome display of good sense and constitutional adherence,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Perhaps some other state governors could take a lesson from Wolf as they issue so-called ‘stay-at-home’ orders. SAF currently has a federal lawsuit against New Jersey, and we are working on lawsuits against Washington, Massachusetts and jurisdictions in California and North Carolina, among others.