Villanueva announces gun stores will reopen

Richard Nagler, the owner of Adam's Armory, shows his concealed Springfield 1911 Pistol at his gun store in Stevenson Ranch on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

After a handful of reversals last week regarding their closure, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Monday that gun stores within the county shall reopen.

Earlier last week, Villanueva had said that the gun stores were not considered essential businesses, and would therefore need to close. However, a legal filing by county attorneys suspended that order.

Then on Thursday, Villanueva said once again that the stores would be closed to the public, citing his authority given to him, along with the rest of the state’s sheriffs, by the governor.

Over the weekend, the National Rifle Association, along with other gun rights groups and gun store owners, announced their plans to sue Gov. Gavin Newsom and Villanueva over the decision.

Villanueva had previously justified his decision by stating closing the gun shops was in response to the need for social distancing and the desire to avoid “panic gun buying.”

On Monday, Villanueva stated that the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department will not order or recommend the closure of the businesses that sell or repair firearms or sell ammunition..

Villanueva added in his Monday afternoon press release that the department would also be looking to investigate improper health practices, such as poor sanitation and improper social distancing measures, at all L.A. County businesses.

“Regardless of whether a business sells groceries, gasoline, firearms or any other product or service, we encourage them to abide by all health and safety measures in place,” Villanueva said in the statement.

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