A coalition of Virginia gun rights groups filed a temporary injunction against Gov. Ralph Northam and the Virginia State Police over the closure of indoor gun ranges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition of gun rights groups led by the Virginia Citizens Defense League wants to overturn the order and reopen gun ranges to allow new firearm owners to attain the required range time.
The Virginia State Police had warned that violation of the order would result in fines of up to $2500 or a year in jail. VCDL's attorney indicated that the gun ranges closure orders violated Article 1, section 7 and section 13, and Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law.
Additionally, the coalition cited the Department of Homeland Security's guidance that allows workers supporting firearms operations to continue operating under the current crisis. The group adds that the order to close gun ranges denies new firearm owners the required range time, thus denying them the opportunity to receive operational training.
Although Northam allowed gun shops to remain open, he categorized indoor gun ranges as recreational and entertainment venues, thus shutting them down for "public safety." The coalition of gun rights groups wants the court to declare that Gov. Northam executive order was beyond his authority under Virginia's constitution as well as under emergency laws.
VCDL issued a statement indicating that indoor gun ranges were not a public safety threat. The statement also noted that Gov. Northam's executive order did not put any restrictions on police using indoor gun ranges.
"His Executive Order allows police to use indoor ranges with no restrictions on the number of officers on the range and no social distancing requirements before, during, or after shooting," the statement read in part. The case will be heard on April 14, 2020.
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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