Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Monday evening he will stop attempting to order gun stores to close as non-essential businesses under the “Safer At Home” order.
The change comes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory memorandum Saturday that included firearm and ammunition manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors and shooting ranges as essential, the department said.
“Although explicitly advisory in nature, nonetheless the federal memorandum is persuasive given its national scope,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva had previously ordered gun stores to close, then suspended those efforts after the county counsel’s office declared gun stores essential businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Thursday, Villanueva ordered all gun stores to close in unincorporated areas of the county and the 42 cities where it provides law enforcement.
Villanueva said Monday evening his department will no longer order or recommend businesses that sell or repair firearms or sell ammunition to close.
The department will continue to “investigate reports of improper health practices such as poor sanitation or failure to maintain social distancing at all businesses,” according to Villanueva.
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