Court Rules Against Pandemic Closures of Gun and Ammunition Stores

The Ninth Circuit Court ruled against a California mandate that closed gun and ammo stores over the pandemic, ruling them “non-essential.”

QUICK FACTS:
  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Ventura County, California for their pandemic mandate that shut down guns and ammunition stores.
  • The mandate categorized the businesses as “non-essential” according to MRCTV and caused increasing difficulty for those looking to purchase firearms and related items.
  • According to ABC News, the mandates were found by the court to be in violation of the constitution.
  • The judges’ majority opinion cited the Second Amendment, saying that they needed to allow constant access to firearms to honor the amendment’s intent.
WHAT THOSE INVOLVED ARGUED:
  • The Second Amendment “means nothing if the government can prohibit all persons from acquiring any firearm or ammunition,” Judge Lawrence VanDyke wrote. “But that’s what happened in this case.”
  • Ventura County “believes the case was correctly decided at the District Court level and is disappointed with the three-judge panel’s decision,” county spokeswoman Ashley Bautista said in an email. Officials are reviewing the decision and “evaluating our options and next steps.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The Ninth Circuit decision overturned a lower court’s decision that allowed Ventura County’s COVID-19 regulation to mandate a 48-day closure of gun shops, ammunition shops, and firing ranges according to MRCTV.
  • There were similar restrictions put in place in 10 other states: Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia.
  • Second Amendment suits were brought against the mandates in all 11 of the states according to ABC News.