UPDATED, 3-24 @ 1:38 P.M. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has announced a two-week “stay home” order that lists marijuana shop workers as “essential” to the workforce, while noticeably absent from the list are firearms and ammunition distributors and retailers, although they apparently are considered essential in other states.
A spokesman in the governor’s office advised Liberty Park Press Tuesday afternoon that the shut down does apply to gun stores.
Inslee infamously told HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher in 2018, “I can honestly say, we’ve got the best weed in the United States of America.” Recreational marijuana use was approved by voters in 2012.
The revelation comes as governors in other states, most notably Illinois, have adopted emergency declarations that either include gun retailers and distributors, or at least do not prohibit them.
Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker ordered a shutdown several days ago, but included in an exempted list of Essential Businesses and Operations were “firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security.”
Connecticut also lists “guns and ammunition” among the essential Retail outlets.
But in Nevada, for example, gun shops are not deemed “essential.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has published a roundup of the states and what they are allowing under emergency order. In anti-gun states, firearms retailers and wholesalers are either listed as “non-essential” or are simply not listed at all.
For example, in California, gun shops aren’t listed, while in Delaware hunting and trapping businesses remain open while sporting goods stores must close. New Jersey deems gun shops to be non-essential, though they are not specifically identified in the state emergency order.
That didn’t stop the Second Amendment Foundation and New Jersey Second Amendment Society from filing a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging violations of Second and 14th amendment rights.
Gov. Inslee’s order runs 14 pages.
It exempts “workers who support radio, television, newspapers and media service, including, but not limited to, front line news reporters, studio and technicians for news gathering and reporting, and workers involved in the printing and distribution of newspapers. It also exempts “central office personnel to maintain and operate central office, data centers, and other network office facilities.
“We expect everyone out there to comply with this order voluntarily,” Inslee said during a press conference, ‘because everyone knows all of our loved ones are at risk here. But make no mistake, this order is enforceable by law.”
Liberty Park Press has spoken to Inslee’s office twice but there is no definitive answer about gun stores.