Gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety are  that the spike in gun sales around the country is all because of “fearmongering” on the part of the National Rifle Association, but NRA-ILA Executive Director Jason Ouimet says that Americans are simply responding to the facts on the ground; growing economic uncertainty, police forces that are starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus in their ranks, inmates being released from many jails, and the realization that things could get worse as the nationwide emergency remains in effect for at least another 30 days.

Oiumet says that it is essential that Americans be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights in these troubled times, which is why the NRA got involved in a California lawsuit challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva over the closing of gun stores in the areas served by the sheriff’s department. Ouimet says the organization isn’t ruling out other lawsuits as well, but in the meantime has been working to ensure that gun stores around the country remain open for business.

That includes talking with the Trump administration alongside other Second Amendment organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, to get national guidance from the Department of Homeland Security regarding the essential nature of the firearms and ammunition industry, from manufacturers down the supply chain to retailers. That guidance was released on Saturday, and while it’s advisory in nature, it should go a long way in ensuring that Americans continue to have access to arms and ammunition during the current emergency.

I asked Ouimet about the criticism by gun control groups and anti-gun politicians, who’ve accused the NRA of “fearmongering” in order to drive up gun sales, and he says it’s just par for the course. Organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action are so desperate to spin the incredible surge in gun sales that they’re claiming the NRA is brainwashing Americans through a propaganda campaign because they simply can’t handle the truth; when concerned for their personal safety, the American people cling to their right to keep and bear arms and reject the idea of banning our way to safety.

Will this moment have a long lasting impact the Second Amendment movement? Ouimet says he believes that many new gun owners will become politically active, and also thinks that those individuals who want to purchase a firearm right now but can’t because of government action could become some of the most ardent activists going forward. That makes sense, given that these are the Americans who’ve actually had their rights curtailed. In fact, also on today’s show you’ll hear from a New Jersey resident who had already paid for his firearms, but now can’t get them because of Gov. Phil Murphy’s order to shut down gun stores in the state. There are going to be tens of thousands of people across the country similarly impacted, and I hope that they get involved and stay involved in the political and legal fights ahead.

Check out the entire interview above, and check out the page that NRA-ILA has put together which shows how each state is treating gun stores right now. The site also offers an aggregation of all state alerts put out by NRA-ILA regarding the coronavirus and its impact on our Second Amendment rights, and it, along with the NSSF’s COVID-19 page for those working in the firearms industry are great resources for keeping up with everything that’s happening around the country (of course, so is Bearing Arms, so keep visiting us too!).

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