Police in San Jose shut down a local gun shop this week in response to the mayor’s declaration that “gun stores are non-essential” businesses under the shelter-in-place directive and must be closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are having panic buying right now for food. The one thing we cannot have is panic buying of guns,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Wednesday.
City Police Chief Eddie Garcia said that Evan Bishop, the owner of Bullseye Bishop on Meridian Ave., was “cooperative” when officers showed up to close his business down.
An alert on the store’s website now reads, “Due to the shelter in place order we will be closed to the public for 2 weeks. Customers that has a pick up date will be contacted by staff to arrange pickups. Do not call us. We will call you. We thank you for your cooperation.”
Several of the customers were peeved by the mayor’s order. Joshua Wolfe, 37, told the Mercury News that the store had the right to remain open.
“Essential? It’s our right to arm ourselves,” Wolfe explained. “Toilet paper is essential, right? People are going nuts for that, right?”
Everyone is “on edge,” he continued, “because people don’t know the truth of this whole situation. If they’re short on supplies, they’ll come after people who are prepared.”
Likewise, 31-year-old J.V. Sumabat voiced his displeasure with the closing and expressed worries about what’s to come.
“I’ve seen people fighting over toilet paper. I’m worried what they will do out of desperation,” he said. “When people start looting stores and they don’t have access to food, they could come into the homes of those they feel are vulnerable. I’d rather be prepared.”
Part of the reason why the store had to stay open, per the owner, was under California law it is limited as to how long it can hold onto a gun after an individual purchases it. Buyers must be able to pick them up after the state-mandated 10-day waiting period.
“We told them to go to DOJ and seek a waiver,” Garcia told the Mercury News. “There was no malicious intent. A lot of this stuff is going to happen.”
As GunsAmerica has reported, there’s been a huge upsurge in firearm and ammo purchases amid the crisis. And it makes perfect sense. No one knows what the future holds. Of course, that was true even before we found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic.
But things are now even more precarious as the market continues to nose dive, unemployment skyrockets (may hit upwards of 20 percent and we may lose 2 million jobs over the next few months), and law enforcement scales back on making arrests as departmental resources are stretched thin across the board.
If you don’t own a firearm and if you still rely on the Nanny State for your personal safety, well, you may be in for a rude awakening.
UPDATE: Statement from ownership on Facebook —
Apparently protecting your family is not an essential business according to Mayor of San Jose. I was forced to close to the Public yesterday around closing time. The police officers were respectful as they said they are just the messanger. Following orders they don’t believe in. Banks post office are not a right but the right to bare arms is. My staff, my attorney and I are working to figure out a solution for you guys. We have been overwhelm with calls today. One lady begged me to sell her a gun because she is a single mother of 2 childern. And she fears the worst as we go throw these uncertain times. I felt so bad telling her i couldnt help her at this time. But the Cannabis clubs are open, they want you to stay dumb and numb. So you wont ask to many questions. They don’t want you to panic buy guns for some reason Even though there is a state mandated 10 day waitting period to pick up a firearm. So if covid 19 doesnt kill you, your neighbors might when they run out of food for there kids. Marshall Law is coming next. So if you don’t think this is right then call the Mayors office tomorrow morning and lets get this turned around. For those who bought guns in the last couple of weeks we will be calling you tomorrow. Guns and ammo home delivery what do you guys think? We might start selling toilet paper and water witch happends to come with ammo. One square of the 556 please. Thanks for all the support and stay safe out there. I will not give up on my companies mission to “Protect your family and Protect your rights. Have a good night.