NRA fights California for the right to spread COVID-19

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“By the order of the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, gun and ammunition stores are not considered essential businesses and must close to the general public…” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement Thursday. He’s obviously listed in the NRA’s lawsuit, too, for enforcing the business closures. 

“There are hundreds of businesses which, through no fault of their own, do not fall under the governor’s definition of critical infrastructure,” Villanueva said last week, according to CNN. “As a result, I have instructed my deputies to enforce closures of businesses which have disregarded the governor’s order.” Still, Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, whined that municipalities are targeting “lawful gun stores for closure” and “weaponizing their politics to disarm you and your loved ones.” He told The Sacramento Bee “these shameless partisans are recklessly promoting a gun-control agenda that suffocates your self-defense rights when you need them most.” California really doesn’t have time for this.

RELATED: California Gov. Gavin Newsom orders lockdown for entire state in coronavirus crisis

Newsom said during a press conference last week that an estimated 56 percent of the about 40 million California residents are expected to contract the virus and 20 percent could be hospitalized as a result of the virus. California is already reporting more than 5,000 coronavirus cases and 121 deaths, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

In addition to that spiraling infection rate, many immigrants in the state of more than two million undocumented immigrants fear what going to the doctor may mean for their status in the country, a CalMatters reporter pointed out. To that concern, Newsom didn’t have much of a definitive answer but said the state believes in universal healthcare and pluralism. “We believe in prevention,” the governor added. “We believe in reducing costs and advancing the health of all the residents in the state of California.”

NRA attorneys, however, stated in the lawsuit: “The circumstances posed by the (COVID-19) outbreak are noteworthy, but do not excuse unlawful government infringements upon freedom. In fact, the importance of maintaining the ongoing activities of essential businesses for the safety, health, and welfare of Californians makes (the plaintiffs’) point: the need for enhanced safety during uncertain times is precisely when (the plaintiffs) and their members must be able to exercise their fundamental rights to keep and bear arm.”

Brady, a gun violence prevention group told CNN the NRA’s lawsuit is off-base. “In this time when we all need to sacrifice to flatten the curve and stop this pandemic, it is disturbing that the NRA won’t budge from its overriding purpose — to increase gun industry profits at any cost,” Brady President Kris Brown told the network. “There is no constitutional right to spread coronavirus while shopping, for guns or anything else.”

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