Are gun shops 'essential' businesses during a pandemic?


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In some parts of the U.S., authorities say gun shops aren’t essential businesses and should close during stay-at-home orders meant to slow the coronavirus. In other places, officials are stopping background checks for concealed carry permits. Elsewhere, city leaders have invoked emergency powers allowing bans on gun sales.

As the nation grapples with a pandemic that has upended daily life, some gun rights advocates are concerned about an erosion of Second Amendment rights just as Americans are buying firearms in record numbers to try to ensure their safety.

“When there’s a national emergency, people are looking for food, water, shelter – that part is important to the survival of our nation,” said Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works in Austin. “They are also looking for the Second Amendment to protect their families.”

He’s scaled back how long he’s open each day but said he won’t close his shop and doesn’t believe he should be forced to.

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