Gun Owner’s Guide to Quarantine
During this unprecedented time, many of you have reached out with concerns, comments, and questions. We are also concerned that our members stay safe and that your liberties are protected. Additionally, we believe the current times present an opportunity to advance liberty.
GOA is actively involved in fighting for liberty across the US as states issue shelter-in-place orders violating gun rights, NICS slowdowns threaten to hinder gun purchases, and mayors choose tyranny over basic liberties.
Here in Texas, Gov. Abbott has not yet ordered a statewide shelter-in-place. In fact, many of his current executive orders focus on deregulation for Texans’ recovery, highlighting many places where government regulation once again doesn’t help keep us safe. He has strongly urged Texans to avoid interaction as much as possible—which is an important measure to keep us safe.
However, local governments are issuing shelter-in-place orders. These orders vary in content, ranging from strongly recommending reasonable precautions to mandating overall business closures. In some cases, gun stores may be closing along with other businesses.
So, far, we believe that gun stores or gun owners are not being specifically targeted. Rather, they are caught up in the general closures. Even so, these localities may be breaking Texas law.
Rep. Dustin Burrows has taken the lead on addressing this issue. Yesterday, Rep. Burrows asked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton whether localities break Texas preemption law when they mandate the closures of retail stores and fail to list gun stores as essential businesses. Texas’ law on preemption was strengthened in the last session and now says that counties and cities cannot regulate firearm commerce.
Although Attorney General Paxton is not obligated to return an answer until September, Rep. Burrows has asked him to expedite his response in this case.
Gun Owner’s Action Item List – Quarantine Edition:
1. Check the facts.
During stressful times, misinformation can spread like wildfire through a proverbial “game of telephone.” If you hear a report that a locality is discriminating against gun owners or gun stores, go to the actual source if possible. Instead of relying on news articles, read the actual wording of the order and hear from the actual gun owner or someone who works at the store. Ask questions to get facts and details.
The government is known for using disasters as an opportunity to undermine liberty. However, in order to fight the battle for liberty, we need to know accurately what the violation is.
2. Be Ready To Protect Yourself
As a group, we believe that we cannot expect the government or anyone else to be able to keep us safe. We know we need to take responsibility for ourselves.
This pandemic presents many needs, including for security and safety. Some localities are releasing prisoners, including violent prisoners. Domestic violence typically rises in situations like this when people are stressed and kept at home.
We hope you will never need to use a gun to defend yourself—but we hope you are ready just in case.
Although some gun stores are closed—either by orders or simply because they are choosing to send their employees home as a personal choice—Texans can generally still purchase guns and ammo. Even the most stringent orders still allow much business to be conducted from home, virtually, and in ways that keep groups of people from gathering together.
Also, if you have other practical needs, we want to help you connect with other Texas GOA members in your area. If you are on Facebook, join our Texas GOA group.
3. Use This Opportunity To Promote Liberty
Instead of staying on the offense and only worrying about violations or pending infringements, this is a great time to be proactive.
Here are some ideas of how you can promote liberty:
A. Reach out to local government
- Get in touch with your county commissioners and city council members. Ask what their plans our. Communicate your concerns. Find your county commissioners’ info on this spreadsheet.
B. Push for Constitutional Carry
- This disaster highlights the need to stop requiring a license for handgun carry. Other states are reporting that they have stopped processing carry license applications. The bill passed in the last session, Constitutional Carry for Disasters, does not apply to most people in this situation. Texans need to be able to defend themselves without waiting for government permission. Tell your State Rep and State Senator.
C. Support your 2A family
- If you are fortunate enough to still be employed, look for ways to support those in your community who stand with you in liberty and gun rights. Ask your local pro-2A gun shops if you can pre-order items for when they’re back in business. Reach out and find out what your friends need. And of course, if you’re not a GOA member, now is a great time to join!