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24 Mar, 2020 20:55

LA County sheriff ordering all gun stores to close amid heady combination of coronavirus lockdown & too many 1st-time buyers

LA County sheriff ordering all gun stores to close amid heady combination of coronavirus lockdown & too many 1st-time buyers

Gun shops have now been added to the list of non-essential businesses being forced to close amid the coronavirus outbreak in the US, with LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also citing concerns about first-time firearms buyers.

Villanueva says the wave of people purchasing their first guns in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak could be a recipe for disaster.

“I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment — I’m a gun owner myself,” the sheriff told FOX LA when confirming the gun shop closures, “but now you have the mixture of people that are not formerly gun owners and you have a lot more people at home.” 

“Anytime you introduce a firearm in a home, from what I understand from CDC studies, it increases fourfold the chance that someone is gonna get shot.”

In an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus in county jails, the sheriff announced he has authorized the release of ten percent of the inmate population, though none have been convicted of violent felonies. Villanueva is also putting an additional 1,300 deputies on patrol. 

There are a total of 2,266 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in California, and 42 deaths. Over 500 of those cases — and seven deaths — are out of Los Angeles. California and its 40 million residents are currently in lockdown, with citizens urged to stay at home and to practice social distancing if they go outside.

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Gun shops were previously allowed to remain open, but the sheriff says they are not an “essential function” and he has found himself frustrated with politicians being the main communicators of stay at home orders, instead of them liaising with those who will have to enforce the measures.

Villanueva seeing an increase in gun sales in Los Angeles is nothing exclusive to the city. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, gun sales across the country have been skyrocketing, with firearm shops everywhere from San Diego, where one shop owner said he was seeing sales “ten times higher” than normal, to New Jersey, where sales across the state have more than tripled, reporting major upticks in the purchasing of both guns and ammunition.

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