Delaware Governor Backs Off, Allows Gun Stores To Stay Open

A lot of anti-gun governors have looked at the COVID-19 outbreak as all the reason they needed to shut down gun stores. Since these are typically people who want to shut down the stores anyways, it’s entirely likely that the disease is nothing more than a pretext. After all, considering the number of stores still open to the public right now in a lot of “shelter in place” jurisdictions, shutting down gun stores is especially petty.

Unfortunately for many of these governors, they’re finding a much bigger backlash than they expected.

The most recent to learn this lesson? Delaware’s Gov. John Carney.

Firearms stores in Delaware can now accept customers by appointment only, the state said Thursday.

An emergency order from Gov. John Carney to close nonessential businesses was amended to allow the change, following in Pennsylvania’s footsteps.

It comes less than two days after Delaware State Police began issuing cease-and-desist orders to businesses that remained open. By mid-afternoon Thursday, troopers had delivered four letters: three to firearms stores and one to a vape shop.

Gov. John Carney’s modification came at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

“I applaud (Carney) for listening to the store owners and the people and being reactive to the wants and needs of the community and doing the right thing,” said Mitch Denham, founder of Delaware Gun Rights, a 21,000-member Facebook group. “I’m glad to hear that this happened.”

The classification of firearms stores as “nonessential” elicited uproar from gun rights advocates, who said the forced closures were a “direct infringement” on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution.

Both grant citizens the right to bear arms.

In truth, this isn’t the ideal scenario, but Carney and many other governors are trapped in a vicious loop of trying to balance public health with individual liberties. It’s not an enviable position to be in. Allowing them to remain open for appointments at least keeps them open and people working while also providing their communities with the opportunity to buy firearms during this very difficult time.

Like I said, it’s not ideal, but at least the stores are open and people can get guns and ammunition. They just have to have an appointment rather than just being able to pop on over.

The important thing is that Governor Carney is just the latest anti-gun governor to be forced to back off on his desire to shut down gun stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hell, Illinois had the good sense to not even try this kind of thing. That ought to tell you something.

Maybe it’s just me, but if this kind of backlash over temporarily closing gun stores is so severe, maybe it’s time to harness this degree of backlash for the rest of the anti-gun stuff governors like Carney try to inflict in their states. It seems as if there are enough people in these states to have an impact at a time like this, so why not the rest of the time?

Well, it’s possible that some of this is due to new gun buyers and those who are trying to buy guns. I can especially see the latter being a factor. Imagine buying a gun and waiting for it to arrive, only to find out you can’t pick it up when you need it because the governor ordered the stores closed. That would make me pretty angry, that’s for sure. To spend that kind of money on something because you feel like you need it, only to be blocked from taking possession until after the emergency is over?


Regardless, this is a good win for the Second Amendment and I’m damn glad to see it. Now, to see it everywhere else.

Sep 21, 2021 10:30 AM ET