Several businesses and a gun-rights group Friday filed court papers alleging the city of Los Angeles does not have the legal authority to shutter gun stores amid the coronavirus crisis.
The still unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court petition also names as defendants Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer and LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
The petitioners are the California Rifle & Pistol Association, Turner’s Operations Inc., FFL Guard LLC and Traders Loan and Jewelry Inc. They are seeking a court declaration that the city order is precluded by state law and that it violates due process.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, said his office had no immediate comment.
The petitioners allege the city’s Safer at Home order, issued as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, was not on sound legal grounds in not listing gun stores as essential businesses.
“The city’s order is unlawful,” the petitioners allege. “It violates an express order by the state public health officer and director that workers in 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the federal government continue to be allowed to work during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva caused some confusion last week with statements that he intended to shut down gun stores as part of the countywide stay-at-home order. Those statements were walked back 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 businesses.
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