New Jersey officials announced over the weekend that as many as 163 police officers have tested positive for COVID-19.
Acting State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan had initially overstated the number saying that there were 700 officers with the novel coronavirus during a Saturday briefing but in a statement on Sunday the agency corrected the number.
“During a recent COVID-19 press conference, Col. Patrick Callahan overstated the Law Enforcement Statewide Positive cases,” read the statement.
It went on to add that while 163 cops tested positive, another 1,272 officers around the state were in quarantine and 1,435 were “out for other reasons.”
Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb reacted to the news of compromised police force, noting that it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“This stunning report should surprise nobody,” Gottlieb said, “because police interact daily with scores, if not hundreds of people. It would defy odds if none became infected, and assurances by the authorities that they still have the manpower to respond to emergencies don’t mean much to people when crimes are happening right now and police are several minutes, or longer, away.”
SAF recently sued New Jersey over Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to shutter gun stores during the crisis. On Monday, Murphy announced that gun stores would reopen.
“We’re delighted that Gov. Murphy has reversed course on this matter, even if it took a lawsuit to get him to do it,” said Gottlieb. “Our lawsuit cut right to the heart of what the Second Amendment is all about, which is personal protection during emergency situations like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the nation.”
Gottlieb believes that Murphy’s hand was forced not only because of the SAF lawsuit but because he looked like a hypocrite with his armed security detail, meanwhile Garden State residents couldn’t even buy ammunition, let alone a firearm prior to the reversal.
“While we pursue litigation elsewhere,” Gottlieb added, “we’re happy that the situation in New Jersey has changed. Regardless what some politicians might think, the Second Amendment is not subject to emergency orders, same as the First, Fourth, Fifth or other constitutional protections.
“This is one more example of SAF’s ongoing mission to win back firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time,” he concluded.
Several other states and municipalities have declared gun shops “non-essential” in recent weeks. However, they may too reverse course now that the Department of Homeland Security has added the gun industry to the list of “critical infrastructure.”
And if these new federal guidelines aren’t enough of a reason, impending legal action from SAF along with the double-standard of politicians having armed protection during this pandemic might tip the scales.