NJ gun shops inundated with orders after they are deemed ‘essential businesses’

Gun shops in New Jersey have been allowed to reopen after first being forced to closed because they were considered nonessential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Mar 31, 2020, 10:34 PM

Updated 1,474 days ago

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Gun shops in New Jersey have been allowed to reopen after first being forced to closed because they were considered nonessential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
But after a new ruling from the Department of Homeland Security, gun shops can operate once again, but with some new restrictions – shops must limit the number of people inside the shop at a given time to adhere to social distancing rules and customers must make appointments.
Guns and Roses shop owner Joe Hawk says that since reopening after being closed for 10 days, he has been on the phone with customers constantly who are waiting to pick up their guns. He says that he had 82 orders that were already paid for and that some of the customers were waiting in line.
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Hawk says that he is glad that DHS made gun shops essential.
“The retired and active law enforcement officers get most of their ammo from a local gun shop. Once that supply line is cut off, God forbid if they need supplies and don’t have them,” Hawk says.
Gov. Phil Murphy has previously stated that while he supports the Second Amendment, he did not agree that gun shops are essential businesses.
“It wouldn’t have been my definition, but that is the definition and I didn’t get a vote on that,” the governor said.
When the nationwide quarantined started, some people panicked and gun sales spiked. Hawk says that sales at Guns and Roses were tenfold in the wake of the news.
“Pretty much everything shotgun-wise…handguns peeled over the wall,” he says.
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But Hawk says that he will continue to use caution when working with customers, including wearing a heavy-duty mask. He says that he is personally affected by his decision to say open – his wife is a survivor of a double lung transplant, making her at a higher risk of developing complications if she contracts the virus.
“The first thing I do is strip out of everything in the garage and go into the shower. Clothes go right into the wash,” he says.
Customers must also wait outside, as only three are allowed inside at a time. But most didn’t seem to mind.
“People wait for toilet paper, I wait for ammo. Everyone is cut from a different cloth, I guess,” one customer told News 12 New Jersey.


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