SAF Says Ill. Governor Gets It Right; ‘Firearms, Ammo Essential’

As the nation deals with the coronavirus panic, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued an emergency order that says firearms and ammunition dealers and distributors are “essential” businesses that will stay open. (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-( Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker got it right with Friday’s emergency order response to the spreading Coronavirus pandemic when he included firearms and ammunition suppliers and retailers on the list of “essential business operations” that will remain open, according to the Second Amendment Foundation.

Pritzker issued Executive Order 23020-10, which “directs all individuals living within the state of Illinois to stay at home, except for “Essential Activities, Essential Government Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses and Operations.” These include information technology equipment manufacturers and suppliers, hardware, food, cleaning supplies, and “firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security.”

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb lauded Pritzker in a prepared statement, saying the governor “sets and example for others” to follow.

“When an anti-gun Democrat governor declares that essential businesses include firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for the purposes of safety and security, that is a really big deal,” Gottlieb said. “Every governor should copy the Illinois example when issuing ‘shelter-in-place’ and business closure orders in the face of the Coronavirus.”

Three other states—New York, California and Pennsylvania—have taken the extreme step of ordering the public to “shelter in place.” People need to stay home except for essential businesses.

In San Jose, Mayor Sam Liccardo declared gun stores are “non-essential.”

“We are having panic buying right now for food,” Liccardo said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “The one thing we cannot have is panic buying of guns.”

San Jose police reportedly shut down the Bullseye Bishop gun store last week. The newspaper quoted painting contractor Joshua Wolfe, who was purchasing ammunition. He said the right to arm one’s self is essential.

One gun rights group, the California-based Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), filed a lawsuit asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to block Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf from including gun stores in his state’s shutdown. Wolf reportedly revised his order, but according to Spotlight PA, “sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores” must remain closed.

“Weapons and ammunition retailers are one of the most essential business types in the United States,” said FPC President Brandon Combs in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon. “There is no ‘except in emergencies’ clause in the Constitution and the government cannot shut down the people’s right to keep and bear arms.”

Gottlieb was also quoted by the newspaper, “Gun prohibitionists want to close down every gun store they can and will use any means necessary. They do not believe that the means for self-defense is essential or a protected constitutional right. Our legal team is monitoring the situation very closely.”

Gottlieb may wind up busy closer to home. The Bellingham, Wash., city council is currently considering an emergency ordinance—a draft of which was obtained by Ammoland News—that would allow the mayor or director of emergency services to issue an order “prohibiting the carrying or possession of firearms or any instrument which is capable of producing bodily harm and which is carried or possessed with the intent to use the same to cause such harm; provided that any such order shall not apply to peace officers or military personnel engaged in the performance of their official duties.”

Ammoland has learned that the city may “clean up” the ordinance’s language, which allegedly has been on the books since 1977 and thus would have been nullified by the state preemption statute. That remains to be seen.

Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood reacted to the concerns over the proposal and posted these remarks on his website:

“The proposed changes will allow us to be more responsive to emergency needs while retaining important checks and balances in place through Council oversight of Mayoral actions,” Mayor Fleetwood said.

“No action is being taken or proposed at this meeting that relates to banning guns, and any rumors about changes to firearms regulations, rumors about martial law, or rumors about closing city streets, are false.”

Such an order, were it ever enforced, would likely collide with Washington’s 35-year-old preemption statute that places sole authority for firearms regulation in the hands of the state legislature. It might also violate the state and federal constitutional right to bear arms provisions. Washington State’s constitution leaves no wiggle room, stating, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired…”

Gottlieb seemed to be making that point in his support of Gov. Pritzker’s emergency order.

“Depending upon how long this emergency continues,” Gottlieb stated, “many Americans may find themselves facing situations where they will need to be their own first responders. Gov. Pritzker obviously understands this, and we encourage the governors of all other states to recognize this isn’t an issue of party politics but of personal and community safety.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has not issued an emergency “shelter-in-place” order, instead imploring the public to essentially police themselves. This came after scores of people were filmed at a popular Seattle beach enjoying the sunshine, playing games and relaxing in close proximity to one another.

Gottlieb may have summed up the current situation best by noting, “We are all in this together, and we will make it through, together, as well. Stay safe, stay well and stay ready.”

About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books #add on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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Pritzker just looked around at the 2020 candidates and decided to make a run in 2024.
With this on his resume he can run as a friend of the 2A and once elected put a dick in us with the authority of a evil , power mad president.
Who can trust a guy who removed toilets from his mansions, had them declared unlivable after being inspected/assessed by a buddy tax collector, cheated the state out of tons of tax money and raised taxes on the people of the state of Illinois!


The 2024 Democrat nominee for President will be Andrew Cuomo. He’s making his campaign pitch. Everyday on TV now and the Media is eating it up. His response to the Coronavirus in New York. Will be his ticket to the big ride.

Ej harbet

Love the new nickname for that pos.
Consider it stolen!


To all Californians, I will say this: if you’re one of those that like the newfound security of owning a firearm, and you were anti-gun before, then know that you have to stop electing all these anticonstitutionalists into office because I guarantee they won’t stop with assailing your 2A rights, because next will come your 1A rights, and so on and so forth. This, just like Virginia Governor Ralph Northam tried to do a few months back when he surreptitiously tried to sneak past legislation that would make it illegal to criticize anyone from his office because of their anti-gun… Read more »


Isn’t this the same Democrat governor who five days ago was slamming Trump for not doing enough and then hit his state’s economy with killing rules. Yet a month or two earlier slammed Trump for doing too much when he cut off Chinese travel? Well, at least this time it “appears” he may have his shit together and maybe sort of knows where he put it.


Gun oil doesn’t support the virus, just saying.


This jackass liberal yankee governor flip-flops more than a just landed catfish!


I’m not going to criticize him for doing something right. Maybe an attaboy so he knows people care.


That headline photo is a true trip down memory lane for me. The items pictured were all considered state-of-the-art, back in the day when I was considered state-of-the-art. LOL

The one exception of course is the Hornady ammunition. Back in the day I (we) would’ve relied on pioneer “Lee Jurras” and one of his “Super Vel” street loads.
Lee, if your listening, thank-you.

Lee E. Jurras
July 27, 1934 – April 24, 2017

Ej harbet

Have a bitter sweet memory of a 4inch blue python in a pawnshop for $400 that someone other than me jumped on. But I did love my blue sec6! that trigger tho!!!! Ahhh

Deplorable Bill

“The RIGHT of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” I know there are many people in the U.S. who are armed and ready to be our own first responders. If there is anything good about the effects and fear of the effects re; this virus, it is that the BIBLE has gotten the dust off of it, people, under threat do understand the need to defend one’s family, friends and neighbors etc. and the wisdom of our founding fathers to make certain we have the RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. There are many people… Read more »


Meanwhile some cities are letting criminals out of jail and stopping gun sales. Let’s see, criminals running free, citizens unarmed, what happens? Desperate calls for help from government? Who wants that? Hmmm.


WOW!!! There is hope for Governor Pritzker and Illinois!

Ej harbet

I actually had a warm fuzzy for 15 seconds.
Then that Olde critical thinking kicked in.
Of course he’ll label the gun stores as essential!
But before a resident/comrade of illannoy can aquire a weapon and ammo he must first aquire that unconstitutional totalitarian thing called a foid card! Wonder how long that takes? Does it land in a mailbox in front of a burned out pillaged farmhouse inhabited by ghosts of disarmed victims????