By: José Niño
Several states are moving legislation forward to protect Second Amendment rights during states of emergencies or disasters.
During the last year, ambitious politicians exploited the hysteria of the Wuhan virus pandemic to shutdown gun stores and shooting ranges.
In the Missouri State House, House Bill 1068 was introduced in early February. It would classify firearms business as “essential” and would ban the state government, government officials, agencies, and local governments from banning or heavily regulating their business dealings when the government declares states of emergencies or disasters. The bill is currently in the House’s Legislative Research-Oversight Committee.
Similarly, the West Virginia Senate is entertaining legislation to protect the right to bear arms during emergencies. Senate Bill 458 was introduced in late February, and the Senate unanimously passed the bill on March 27. The House passed SB 458 on April 8, and the bill now awaits West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s signature.
SB 458 specifically bans the state government, functionaries of the state and agencies, and local governments from passing restrictions on the sale, use, or lawful carry of firearms or ammunition during a time of emergency. On top of that, SB 458 prevents these same entities from closing gun stores and shootings ranges, unless these closure mandates are applied equally to all businesses.
The Wuhan virus pandemic was a golden opportunity for despotic politicians to show their true colors. In many reliably blue states, anti-gun politicians and administrators quickly shut down gun stores and ranges when panic over the virus first hit.
These unconstitutional orders came when millions of Americans, many of them first-time gun owners, rushed to gun stores to protect themselves and their loved ones during a period of nation unrest. As a result, many Americans were deprived of the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights at a time when police were standing down, and city leadership allowed violent mobs to run loose and terrorize law-abiding Americans.
Due to the partisan composition of D.C., any form of legislative measures to protect Second Amendment rights will have to come from the states. Missouri and West Virginia are leading the way – showing how Second Amendment activists can regain ground and push back against totalitarian despots.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.