US court rules CA county’s gun store COVID shutdown unconstitutional

A three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruled on Thursday that Ventura County, California’s order to close down all gun stores in the county, citing COVID-19 concerns, was unconstitutional.

In its 2-1 decision, the court ruled Ventura County’s 48-day closure for gun and ammo shops and shooting ranges improperly “burdened conduct protected by the Second Amendment.” Because buyers can only purchase guns in California by going directly to a gun store, the court said the county’s COVID-19 policy “wholly prevented law-abiding citizens in the County from realizing their right to keep and bear arms.”

Judge Lawrence VanDyke wrote, “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” U.S. Const. amend. II, means nothing if the government can
prohibit all persons from acquiring any firearm or ammunition. But that’s what happened in this case.”