Gun Rights Groups File Lawsuits in California, North Carolina, and New Jersey over COVID-19 Closures

Various gun rights groups in the country have filed lawsuits against governors and sheriffs over gun store closure orders in various states and counties. In California, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Gov. Gavin Newsom are facing a lawsuit filed by The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and other gun rights groups.

The lawsuit arises from the actions of the Los Angeles County sheriff Villanueva acting under authorization by Gov. Newsom’s. In North Carolina, the lawsuit resulted from sheriffs Gerald Baker’s refusal to process pistol applications in Wake County. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphey, who is a Democrat, is facing a lawsuit for his order to shut gun stores and the background checks system.

SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the orders to close down gun stores in Los Angeles County were an infringement on citizens’ fundamental rights. Adam Kraut, FPC director of legal strategy, reiterated the same concerns. He added that California’s restrictive laws make it impossible to transfer, not only firearms but also ammunition.

“These irrational and outrageous fiat restrictions cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny and must be enjoined from enforcement,” Kraut said.

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In North Carolina, Kraut said the refusal of Sheriff baker to process pistol applications prevents residents from exercising their rights.

“Sheriff Baker’s unconstitutional actions have and will deprive law-abiding, peaceable individuals the opportunity to obtain handguns, the ‘quintessential self-defense weapon’ according to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a time where the arms are most needed,” Kraut said.

Both sheriffs Villanueva and Baker have refused to comment on their pending cases. Sheriff Villanueva denied being served with the lawsuit.

The New Jersey lawsuit resulted from the inability of Mr. Robert Kashinsky to buy two long rifles. The New Jersey Second Amendment Society, the Second Amendment Foundation, Legends Firearms retailer joined in the case. The lawsuit includes Superintendent Patrick J. Callahan, the New Jersey State Police.

The outcome of these cases will determine the direction of future gun store closures. Regardless of the outcome, they still can affect the decision of governors. For example, Gov. Wolf reopened gun shops after the court ruled narrowly missed overturning his decision, and a judge registered a strong dissenting opinion.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.

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