bookmark_borderVictory for gun rights in Massachusetts

An awesome victory for Second Amendment Rights took place today in my home state of Massachusetts. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock issued a preliminary injunction allowing gun stores to open beginning on Saturday! Governor Charlie Baker had ordered them to close along with all other “non-essential” businesses as part of the state’s lockdown measures to fight Covid-19. This legal victory is the result of a lawsuit filed against Baker and his administration by a coalition of gun rights groups and individuals, including Firearms Policy Coalition, Commonwealth Second Amendment, and Second Amendment Foundation.

According to Judge Woodlock, the forced closure of gun stores amounted to an “improper burden” on people’s Second Amendment rights. “There’s no justification here between the goals of the emergency declared by the Commonwealth and the burdening of the constitutional rights of the defendants in this narrow area,” he said. “I have enough information to say, in this very small corner of this emergency, we don’t surrender our constitutional rights. These plaintiffs… have constitutional rights that deserve respect and vindication. And it becomes necessary for a court to do that.”

He also said: “There may be, in the background, a distaste or a lack of enthusiasm for the firearms industry in Massachusetts among political leaders. They’re entitled to their views as well. They just can’t transgress constitutional rights.”

Beginning on Saturday, gun stores can open for business between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. as long as they operate by appointment only and make sure customers stand 6 feet apart.

“The citizens of Massachusetts have been deprived of their right to acquire arms for defense of hearth and home for too long during a time where it is most critical,” said Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut.

FPC President Brandon Combs said, “State and local governments cannot suspend the Constitution and its guarantee of fundamental human rights. Individuals have a human right to acquire firearms and ammunition for self-defense, and the need for self-defense is especially important during uncertain times. This important victory means people in the Bay State can exercise their right to keep and bear arms.”

This ruling affirms the fact that no pandemic or emergency of any kind should cancel out people’s fundamental rights. Thank you to the plaintiffs who filed this lawsuit and to Judge Woodlock for making the right ruling.

bookmark_borderTexas hair stylist to be freed after disobeying lockdown order

Shelley Luther, the owner of a hair salon in Dallas, TX, was thrown in jail for opening her salon in defiance of the state’s coronavirus lockdown order. She has been outspoken in her opposition to the restrictions. When she received a cease and desist letter, she tore it up in front of TV cameras. On Tuesday, during a court hearing, Judge Eric Moye said that he would sentence Luther to a fine instead of jail time if she apologized and complied with the order, but she did not. “Feeding my kids is not selfish,” she said. “If you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.” The judge found her guilty of contempt of court and sentenced her to a week in jail, calling her defiant actions “open, flagrant, and intentional” and noting that she “expressed no contrition, remorse, or regret.”

Today, however, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order cancelling the possibility of jail as a punishment for violating the lockdown restrictions, and as a result the Texas Supreme Court ordered Luther to be freed. “Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” he said.

This is a happy and just result. Salute to Shelley Luther for bravely standing up for her rights, as well as the rights of her employees and customers.