As COVID-19 fears kept most people locked down inside their own homes, one place a lot of people wanted to hit were the gun stores. After all, no one knew what was going on and where things would go and they wanted to be ready in case things got bad. It was understandable, really.
Unfortunately for a lot of people, they couldn’t buy a gun. Their local gun stores were closed by government mandate, and that was a huge problem.
Now, though, the Ohio Senate just passed a bill that should help prevent that from being an issue again.
The Ohio Senate OK’d legislation early Wednesday evening that would bar the statewide or regional closing of licensed firearm sellers, countering potential temporary orders under stay-at-home or public health directives.
Senate Bill 360, sponsored by Republican Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, was fast-tracked through the chamber’s legislative process and received lopsided bipartisan support for passage.
Obhof said during Wednesday’s session that Gov. Mike DeWine “was respectful of the Second Amendment and did not attempt to force licensed firearm dealers to close,” but that the proposed law changes would ensure future state and local officials follow suit.
The National Rifle Association and other advocates supported the legislation, saying it was needed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and resulting attempts by other states to restrict the sale of firearms, components and ammunition.
It’s also the right move to make. While Ohio didn’t get stupid when it came to gun stores, a lot of states did and there’s no guarantee that we won’t see something similar during the next pandemic. After all, Swine Flu wasn’t all that long ago, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll see more pandemics as the years march on.
There’s no guarantee that the next governor to face a pandemic will act like DeWine did and keep the gun stores open. In fact, there’s plenty of reason to be concerned of the opposite being the case. Those the bipartisan nature of the bill’s passage is certainly promising.
This bill will do a lot to keep people in the state having the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Of course, with the NRA supporting it, you already know who opposes it.
But other groups, including the national Brady Campaign/United Against Gun Violence, said SB 360 would put public health at risk if gun stores could not be temporarily shuttered, if warranted, during state or national emergencies.
“We sincerely hope you will trust that gun dealers would only have to close if we are in an emergency situation – that doing so would make the rest of us safer,” Toby Hoover, founder of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said in submitted committee testimony. “It is acceptable and advisable to allow the state and local communities to make these decisions. Please don’t encourage fear.”
And yet, these same people seem to always have some reason to back anything that stops law-abiding citizens from being able to buy guns. It should be noted that there’s no evidence the pandemic shut down the black market for firearms, but lawfully sold guns? Yeah, that got impacted.
Honestly, anti-gun groups will use whatever justification they can pull out of their posteriors to try and sell people on closing gun stores, even for a short time.
They don’t actually care about anything but restricting your rights.