‘We were already at two, three times more than the average in sales in general…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James issued a state of emergency on Sunday and banned the sale of firearms and ammunition due to the riots taking place in the area.
The riots present a “clear and present danger,” James said in the declaration. To minimize that danger, West Palm Beach residents will no longer be able to sell or buy “any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size of description” for the duration of the order, according to WTVX.
“The intentional display by or in any store or shop of any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size of description” is also banned, as well as “the intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.”
After facing backlash, James defended the decision to restrict citizens’ rights, arguing that “the public’s safety is my top priority.”
Citizens across the country have been stocking up on firearms and ammunition to arm themselves against violent rioters and looters.
Gun and ammunition sales began to rise in mid-March when the coronavirus pandemic began, and will likely surge once again in June, according to gun manufacturers.
Alabama gun stores reported an uptick in sales after the first round of protests, as did Los Angeles stores.
“Everyone is making ammo runs,” said Russell England, the owner of Alabama Guns and Outdoors, according to AL.com.
Daniel Kash, the owner of LAX Range and Ammo has also seen more people practicing now that outdoor ranges have reopened, according to ABC-7.
“Online our website had a three time increase last night. We were already at two, three times more than the average in sales in general. It was way more than that when the whole coronavirus first started, but now it keeps getting to another level,” he said.
With the onset of the health crisis in March, after many state and local governments imposed restrictive lock-down orders, law enforcement and other authorities in some areas, including Los Angeles, faced legal challenges for attempting to categorize gun shops or to implement other administrative policies to slow the permit process.
Most of those efforts were either dropped after the lawsuits were filed or else reversed by court decisions.