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Ortt asks governor to list gun shops as essential businesses

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2020 at 3:54 pm

State Sen. Robert Ortt has written a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo today, asking the governor to add gun shops and sporting shops as essential businesses that do not have to close during this time when the state has shut down many businesses temporarily to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, thanked the governor for his efforts to protect the state from Covid-19.

“I urge you to consider gun and sporting shops as providers of essential goods and services,” Ortt writes in his letter. “While taking proper public health precautions is necessary and appropriate, the Constitution is not nullified in the face of a pandemic, and the Second Amendment’s value still remains. New Yorkers still deserve the right to protect themselves, and allowing gun shops to operate would help New Yorkers exercise that right.”

Ortt said Pennsylvania’s governor also closed gun shops but then reversed his decision following a challenge in Pennsylvania Supreme Court. After Supreme Court justices weighed in, Governor Wolf reversed the decision, allowing gun shops to remain open.

“New York can and should open gun shops in a way that continues to protect New Yorkers from coronavirus,” Ortt said. “Shops in Pennsylvania, for example, are only allowed to operate under limited hours, and can only make sales via individual appointments to eliminate store crowds. I believe gun shops in New York would be happy to comply with any public health recommendations, but closing them outright unnecessarily deprives New Yorkers of their Second Amendment right.”

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