Virginia’s attorney general bragged on Twitter last week about shutting down a massive, 12,000-person gun show in Virginia for fears of a “superspreader” COVID-19 event.
“BREAKING: I have successfully BLOCKED a massive gun show from operating at full capacity this weekend in NOVA. Putting hundreds or even thousands of Virginians at risk for the sole purpose of selling guns is just not worth it and I’m pleased that the Judge agreed with me,” Attorney General Mark Herring tweeted.
🚨BREAKING🚨I have successfully BLOCKED a massive gun show from operating at full capacity this weekend in NOVA.— Mark Herring (@MarkHerringVA) November 19, 2020
Putting hundreds or even thousands of Virginians at risk for the sole purpose of selling guns is just not worth it and I’m pleased that the Judge agreed with me.
The Nation’s Gun Show was slated to begin last Friday in Chantilly, Virginia, and run through Sunday. The show’s organizers expected about 4,000 people per day for a total of about 12,000 attendees.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam restricted on Monday the number of people who can attend “events” to 250. But the show’s organizers argued in a statement that their gun show is no more dangerous than the Wal-Mart across the street, and that they’ve already held two similar shows with no signs of COVID-19 spread.
“All we ask is that we are allowed to operate on the same type of business model and at the same level as the Walmart across the road. We are not entertainment and amusement. We will have at our show roughly the same number of people that will be going through any average Walmart in the state of Virginia and across the country every weekend,” the statement read.
“If you ever go into any Walmart there is usually an average of 400 people inside at any given time. Let’s say they’re only open 10 hours a day, that means 4,000 people per day,” the organizers pointed out. “We are open three days and will have 4,000 people, maybe, per day which adds up to 12,000 people for the weekend. That is the same number of people that went through the show in August this year, and we had a third less than that at the show in October.”
The Fairfax County Health Department gave the all-clear to the show’s organizers as late as Wednesday of last week to operate as a brick-and-mortar retail establishment. But Herring and Northam stepped in at the last minute to shut it down. The show sued Herring and Northam in court and lost.
“We are very sorry for the incredible financial burden and terrible inconvenience this is inflicting on all involved,” the organizers said.