News & Politics

Obama-Appointed Judge Rules LA Gun Stores Aren't Essential and Government May Close Them

Image by Public Co from Pixabay

Here we go again.

After closing, opening, closing and re-opening gun stores again, a US District judge has ruled that Los Angeles may close gun stores clashing with the Department of Homeland advisory that gun stores and gun manufacturers represent essential services and therefore may stay open during the COVID-19 crisis.

The City of LA has closed its stores and the LA County Sheriff followed suit when he saw “panic buying” of guns by first time gun owners. At the same time the law enforcement officials were letting criminals out jail by the hundreds in LA County.

The NRA made the point that governments freeing criminals is just one reason why people need guns.

Bearing Arms reports that the Obama appointed US District Court Judge Andre Birotte decided this case using the “intermediate standards of judicial scrutiny.”

Birotte declared that Los Angeles County and the state of California were within their emergency powers to close gun stores, ruling that the orders should be viewed under an intermediate standard of judicial scrutiny. That muddy middle legal ground allows for judges like Birotte to sign off on almost any gun control law that doesn’t amount to a complete and permanent ban on entire classes of firearms.


Courts around the country have been relying on intermediate scrutiny for years in order to uphold gun control laws, which is one reason why gun owners are hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in NYSRPA v NYC will declare that strict scrutiny, or the highest level of judicial review, is warranted when it comes to laws dealing with our right to keep and bear arms.

The judge’s decision is expected to be appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by the Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners of California and the National Rifle Association.

In the interim, the LA sheriff can keep open the gun shops due to the Department of Homeland Security advisory saying they’re essential businesses.  California hews to the DHS advisory opinion on what is and isn’t an essential business.

Considering the sheriff’s ineptitude on this issue, he’d be wise to leave this issue closed and the gun stores open.