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Feds Add Gun Companies to ‘Essential' Business List Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Added 03-28-20 08:20:03pm EST - “The Department of Homeland Security added gun dealers, ranges, and manufacturers to its essential business coronavirus-response guide on Saturday.? The? updated guidance? from DHS's? Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency…” - Freebeacon.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Freebeacon.com: “Feds Add Gun Companies to 'Essential' Business List Amid Coronavirus Outbreak - Washington Free Beacon”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The Department of Homeland Security added gun dealers, ranges, and manufacturers to its essential business coronavirus-response guide on Saturday. 

The updated guidance from DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) now considers "workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges" to be essential. Those industry workers are listed under the designation for "law enforcement, public safety, and other first responders." 

The change comes after some state and local officials have shut down gun stores and manufacturing plants around the country. The federal guidelines could influence how state and local officials implement lockdown orders moving forward. Demand for firearms has skyrocketed in response to the uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic, even as shutdowns in some states have closed the only legal avenue for purchases. Some officials cited the lack of DHS guidance to defend those closures.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade group, requested the essential designation in a March 20th letter to DHS. The group praised the updated DHS guidance as "crucial." 

"We have seen over the past week hundreds of thousands, even millions of Americans choosing to exercise their right to keep and bear arms to ensure their safety and the safety of loved ones during these uncertain times," Lawrence Keane, general counsel for the group, said in a statement. "Americans must not be denied the ability to exercise that right to lawfully purchase and acquire firearms during times of emergency." 

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