Illinois Governor Lists Gun Stores as ‘Essential,’ Exempts Them from Forced Shutdown

Illinois Governor Lists Gun Stores as ‘Essential,’ Exempts Them from Forced Shutdown

Amid all of the worry, fear and sometimes outright panic concerning Covid 19, a spark of rational thinking took place yesterday in Illinois.

Illinois in general and Chicago, in particular, are not exactly considered gun-friendly places under the law. So when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) issued his executive order Saturday shutting down the state it came with quite a surprise.

While other politicians have attempted to use this emergency to slip parts of their political agenda into their response to the Corona Virus, Gov. Pritzker did something very bold and courageous by making a provision for the citizens of Illinois to physically protect themselves.

As part of his order shutting down non-essential businesses, there was an exception under the heading “Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations” that exempted “firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers”. The order went on to say that they serve the purpose of “safety and security”.

We have to give credit where credit is due. This is a big deal. “Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for taking the lead on this.” While others are attempting to limit 2nd Amendment rights during this outbreak he has taken specific steps to preserve those rights.

This sets a fabulous example for the rest of the Governors in this country for when they might deem it necessary to issue stay in place and business closure orders. Let’s hope many follow this outstanding example of leadership.

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Mark Ehlen is a USCCA certified firearms instructor, a MN DNR Firearms Safety instructor, high school trap shooting coach and a writer. As one of his uncles ran Federal Cartridge Corp for many years and his father retired from there, firearms and ammo are second nature to him. His firearms instruction is aimed at helping new shooters have a positive experience as well as understanding the practical and legal side of concealed carry. Mark can be reached at Marksmanship Firearms Training.
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