The “reopening” of America amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a contentious issue. Is it too soon? Is it too late? Should we have even shut down in the first place?
In an attempt to find where exactly the public falls on this question, The Washington Post in conjunction with the University of Maryland conducted a telephone survey, April 28 -May 30, 2020.
What the pollsters found is that most Americans still believe businesses should remain closed in their state.
From the article published by WashPo:
The most significant opposition is to reopening movie theaters, with 82 percent of Americans saying they should not be allowed to open up in their state. There is also broad opposition to reopening gyms (78 percent opposed), dine-in restaurants and nail salons (both with 74 percent opposed).
Gun stores are next, with 70 percent saying they should not be reopened, followed by barbershops and hair salons (69 percent opposed) and retail shops such as clothing stores (66 percent opposed) and golf courses (59 percent opposed).
Unlike the other businesses on the list, gun stores were added to the list of “critical” infrastructure by the Trump administration back in March.
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Though that move was “advisory in nature” and non-binding for the states, most governors and city leaders hewed to the recommendation thus ensuring gun shops would remain open.
And those that didn’t quickly found themselves the target of lawsuits filed by pro-2A organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association. Because unlike getting one’s haircut at Sport Clips or sitting down to dinner at Olive Garden, one’s right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution.
Based on the latest reporting, only four states have continued to shutter FFLs during the COVID-19 crisis: New York, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington.
But this may soon change, either as a result of those aforementioned lawsuits or the growing national trend to ease shelter-in-place restrictions heading into the summer months.
Even with the forced shutdowns, the past few months have been record-setting in terms of sales.
Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF), an industry research group, estimates that there have been over 7 million guns sold this year, 1.7 million of which were sold in April alone. That’s a 71 percent jump from April of last year.
So, maybe it’s true, as the poll indicated, that 70 percent of the public believes gun stores should not be open at this time. But that hasn’t stopped millions of other citizens from visiting their local gun dealer in recent weeks to make a purchase or two.