Second Amendment

Judge orders reopening of gun stores in Second Amendment challenge

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A federal judge in Massachusetts has ordered the opening of gun stores in the state in a challenge to Gov. Charlie Baker’s shutdown of nonessential businesses.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock granted a preliminary injunction in an amended order Thursday, report Courthouse News Service, Law360 and the Boston Herald.

Woodlock ruled after a virtual hearing in which he cited Second Amendment rights, according to Law360.

“We don’t surrender our constitutional rights,” Woodlock said. “These plaintiffs have constitutional rights that deserve respect and vindication, and it becomes necessary for a court to do that rather than the executive when the executive declines.”

A group of retailers and citizens had challenged the shutdown.

David Jensen, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Courthouse News Service that the gun sales lawsuit is the first in the country to succeed at the preliminary injunction stage. Courts in two California cases have denied temporary restraining orders, he said.

Woodlock’s injunction requires firearms dealers to make sales by appointment only, with no more than four appointments per hour. The order also requires employees and customers to wear face masks and to abide by social distancing. Stores are also required to establish sanitizing procedures.

The case is McCarthy v. Baker.

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