Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Backs Down, Declares Gun Dealers Are Life-Sustaining

In an updated list of Life Sustaining Businesses published at 2:30 PM on March 24, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf has declared that Federal Firearm Licensees, currently referred to as gun dealers, constitute life-sustaining businesses, due to the concurring and dissenting opinion of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice David Wecht, joined by Justices Donohue and Dougherty in Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., et al. v. Governor Wolf.

Specifically, under Trade, Transportation & Utilities, subsection Retail Trade, sub-subsection Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, & Music Stores, it now provides:

Except that firearms dealers may operate physical businesses on a limited basis to complete only the portions of a sale/transfer that must be conducted in-person under the law, subject to the following restrictions: 1) all such sale/transfers will be conducted by individual appointment during limited hours only so as to minimize social interactions and congregating of persons; 2) the dealer will comply with social distancing, sanitization of applicable area between appointments, and other mitigation measures to protect its employees and the public.

This language is consistent with the Wecht Dissent, which, after declaring “that it is incumbent upon the Governor to make some manner of allowance for our citizens to continue to exercise this constitutional right,” states:

This need not necessarily take the form of a generalized exception to the Order for any and all firearm retailers, although such retailers have been classified as “essential” elsewhere in our Nation. To the contrary, just as the Governor has permitted restaurants to offer take-out service but restricted dine-in options, the Governor may limit the patronage of firearm retailers to the completion of the portions of a transfer that must be conducted in-person. Such an accommodation may be effectuated while preserving sensible restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, but nonetheless provide a legal avenue for the purchase and sale of firearms, thus avoiding an impermissible intrusion upon a fundamental constitutional right.

As some of you may be aware, Justice Wecht issued his Dissent, while he and his family are self-quarantined due to COVID-19.

Please join us in thanking Justices Wecht, Donohue, and Dougherty for being beacons of liberty in these times that try men’s souls and congratulating Chief Counsel Joshua Prince of the Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. for instituting the legal action that has resulted in Governor Wolf finding that gun dealers are life sustaining.

If you’d like to donate to support all the time and cost that Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. has expended in the underlying litigation, you can do so here – Just place Donation in the reference field.

If you or someone you know has had their rights violated by a Government agency, contact Civil Rights Defense Firm today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

29 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Backs Down, Declares Gun Dealers Are Life-Sustaining

  1. Attorney Prince, A note to say thank you for all you do for the 2A community and rights. I am glad I am had my firearms trust completed by your firm. I continue to recommend to all I know wanting a trust. Well done! 2 for 2!!

    Best Regards,

    Martin Rupert 7176499664



  2. The Pa. Legislature is AWOL. At least there’s one person in Pa. who has the guts to stand up for our Constitutional rights. Thank you, Joshua Prince!


  3. Thanks so much for all your work helping to keep our lives and the lives of our family’s safe during this time of uncertainty.


  4. Votes matter people. The constitution matters. The 2nd amendment matters. Put those in office in 2020 who support those ‘matters’ and not tyranny. Thank you sir for all of your efforts. The commonwealth citizens thank you!


    1. I woulds lime to thank you for all you do in defending our Second Amendment. God bless you and God bless The USA.


  5. There are a lot of rumors about carrying firearms in a state of emergency can you explain what this all means? Most of us have concealed carry permits and carry all the time.


    1. We have a License To Carry Firearms. During a SOE if you wish to carry you must have a LTCF to carry either Open or Concealed. If you do not have a LTCF you cannot carry on your person at all.


  6. Thanks, Josh!
    For future reference and for your use as you see fit, I sent this message to my State rep, senator, and of course, the big bad wolf:
    “You have done wrong to force the closure of “Sporting Goods” businesses also known as “Gun Shops.” This closure is a violation of the 2nd Amendment as well as the Pennsylvania Constitution. The forced closure does not enhance public safety and in fact lessens it greatly. The citizens of Pennsylvania have the God-given right to self-defense. Remember, God -given rights come from God, not from the government. It is the responsibility of the government to protect that right and all other God-given rights first and foremost before any other rights and to do so at all times no matter the circumstances.
    Therefore, on behalf of all like-minded individuals in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I demand that you rescind your order to close the gun shops as well as many other of your seemingly ill-conceived closure orders. Thanks much, Paul G. Celentano”

    I changed it up as per the recipient(s) in tended).


  7. Can PA FFL holders process transfers for NJ residents while NJ transfers are suspended? Thanks. Great work in PA.


  8. Thank you both! Now we just have to get the local Sheriff’s to resume CCP renewals and taking new applications. Seems it goes hand in hand with being able to purchase or sell.

    Monroe Co Sheriff has suspended his permit operations even though his limited staff is in the office. Setup appointments at least. If you can go to the store to get food and supplies, get gas for your car, pick up food from the restaurants, go to work (if essential) then you should be able to make a appointment with the County Sheriff’s office to apply for or renew a permit.

    Our constitutional rights should be the first things defended and the last things infringed upon.



    All gun sales must be conducted per an appointment.

    Wolfe requires the vital information to be stored by the gun store so Wolfe can varify compliance.

    So far he HAS shut down a local gun store that didn’t keep appointment records.

    So; now he restricted sales to limited; time recorded individual transactions which he can use to match to the transaction records of inventory which contain the exact serial numbers of each sale. Both transactions are date and time stamped but never matched to owners beyond the background check which doesn’t keep in record


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s