April 23, 2020
There has been a lot confusion surrounding gun rights during Michigan’s state of emergency.
Reports came in from across the state that Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office was forcing gun stores to shut down, even though the emergency order did not specifically order them to do so.
In spite of the federal guidance deeming gun stores “essential,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer has yet to clarify that gun stores are allowed to remain open under her emergency order.
Many gun stores preemptively closed out of fear of being punished for remaining open.
Thanks to the hard work of the gun rights community across the state, most gun stores who want to be open right now are open.
But it should have never been this way in the first place.
State law does not specifically say that gun stores couldn’t be shut down during a state of emergency, and in that confusion political opportunists in Lansing and local governments sought to take advantage of the situation.
Thankfully, State Representative Steve Johnson (R-HD 72) and State Senator Tom Barrett (R-SD 24) said “enough is enough!”
Rep. Johnson filed HB 5706 and HB 5707 in the House and Sen. Barrett filed SB 859 and 860 in the Senate, which prohibit the Governor from banning the sale and purchase of firearms and ammunition in a state of emergency.
In short, these bills would effectively make it absolutely clear that neither the Governor nor the Attorney General could arbitrarily close gun stores during a state of emergency.
Let me tell you why this legislation is so important.
You and I both know when seconds stand between life and death, law enforcement is always minutes away.
With law enforcement resources spread thin, not responding to all calls and prisoners released due to COVID-19, keeping gun stores open so you can buy firearms and ammunition for self-defense is absolutely essential.
I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines.
Many citizens are going out to purchase firearms for the first time to defend themselves and their family during these times of uncertainty.
In fact, over two million firearms were purchased in the month of March alone, breaking all-time sales records.
Right now, anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control groups are pushing for the closure of gun stores nationwide.
If Governor Whitmer decides to heed his call (and his campaign cash) and shut down gun stores under her executive order, you and I would be denied our ability to arm ourselves against potential threats.
These bills being offered by Sen. Barrett and Rep. Johnson are common sense and would go a long way to making sure your rights are protected at a time when they are needed most.
Liberty is often the first thing sacrificed in times of crisis.
But as Thomas Jefferson famously stated, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Great Lakes Gun Rights