LA County Sheriff’s Plans to Close Gun Stores Ended by Trump Admin Guidelines

Ammunition boxes are for sale at a gun shop in Merrimack, New Hampshire, on November 5, 2016. According to the proprietor, October's sales in his store were double that of 2015, with customers expressing anxiety about the November election. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP …

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says he will not be closing gun stores now the Trump administration has declared them essential business.

On Monday, March 24, 2020, Villanueva talked of how he planned to shutter gun stores throughout the county. The next day he said his plans were on hold to give Governor Gavin Newsom (D) time to reassess what constituted an “essential” business.

On Wednesday, March 26, 2020, he tweeted an announcement that he would be closing gun stores after all:

But on March 30, 2020, NBC Los Angeles reported that Villanueva dropped his plans for gun stores, citing the Trump administration’s Saturday announcement which highlighted gun outlets as essential businesses.

Breitbart News reported the Trump administration’s announcement, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, counting as essential, “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

Also on March 30, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) pointed to the Trump Administration’s essential businesses guidelines and reversed course on gun store closures in his state.

Ironically, both Sheriff Villanueva and Governor Murphy both faced lawsuits over their gun stores closure policies.

Breitbart News reported the NRA, Second Amendment Foundation, California Gun Rights Coalition, and Firearms Policy Coalition sued filed suit against Villanueva. In New Jersey, Second Amendment Foundation and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society filed suit after Murphy’s shutdown order led to the closure of gun stores throughout the state.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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