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.
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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.
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