by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:
In case you are just waking up from a coma, America is currently in utter turmoil. Panic buying has emptied shelves across the country, millions of unemployed people are spending their last dollar on food, hundreds of cities have been placed on lockdown, and cops are using Chinese-made patrol drones to monitor citizens 24-hours a day. In a matter of just 2 weeks, America has shifted from the land of the free to the land of the economic collapse and newly ushered in police state. As if things couldn’t get bad enough, governments across the country are now stripping people of their constitutional right to bear arms by forcing gun stores to close.
With so much uncertainty on the horizon, there has never been a better time for a citizen to be prepared to defend themselves and their family. The market is reacting appropriately to this demand and business has boomed for the gun industry in the past week, with long lines stretching outside gun stores across the country. The Wall Street Journal reports that on March 16, background checks were up 300% compared with the same day last year, according to federal data shared with the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
However, this is becoming increasingly harder to do thanks to executive orders and court rulings that have shuttered gun stores from coast to coast.
While liquor stores and fast food restaurants are considered “essential business” and allowed to stay open, stores that allow people to purchase tools for self-defense are closed. This is creating a storm of backlash against the state.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy forced all gun stores to close on Saturday and now he’s being sued for it. The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society and Legend Firearms shop in Monroe.
“The exigencies surrounding this viral pandemic both justify and necessitate changes in the manner in which people live their lives and conduct their daily business,” the lawsuit said. “However, this emergency (like any other emergency) has its constitutional limits. It would not justify a prior restraint on speech, nor a suspension of the right to vote. Just the same, it does not justify a ban on obtaining guns and ammunition.”
On Sunday night, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in favor of the governor’s order to close all gun stores too. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all gun stores shut down claiming they were not “life-sustaining.” The decision was challenged all the way to the state’s highest court and the people lost — but not without dissent from two of the justices.
“In my view, it is incumbent upon the Governor to make some manner of allowance for our citizens to continue to exercise this constitutional right,” Justice David Wecht said noting that the order, as written, represented an “impermissible intrusion upon a fundamental constitutional right.”
“Such an accommodation may be effectuated while preserving sensible restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, but nonetheless provide a legal avenue for the purchase and sale of firearms, thus avoiding an impermissible intrusion upon a fundamental constitutional right.”
Adam Kraut, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the case and the director of legal strategy for the Firearms Policy Coalition agreed, telling the Washington Free Beacon he is unhappy with the court’s decision.
“I am disappointed the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined an opportunity to protect the fundamental rights of all Pennsylvanians during this time of uncertainty, when many are deciding that the ability to defends one’s home and family is more necessary than ever. The Governor’s Order amounts to an absolute and indefinite prohibition on the acquisition of firearms by citizens of the Commonwealth. Such a prohibition cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny and directly infringes upon the core of the Second Amendment.”