BELLEVUE, WA – Legions of Americans have rushed to gun stores to purchase firearms and ammunition for the first time in their lives in reaction to the coronavirus scare, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms encourages them to be safe, stay informed and protect their re-discovered rights.

“Over the past few weeks,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “we’ve witnessed thousands upon thousands of people, many of whom are Democrats and may have previously supported strict gun policies, get an education on gun control and how bad laws make it hard for good people to exercise their Second Amendment rights. We saw record background checks in March, and lots of those were for first-time buyers.

“They’re learning firsthand about waiting periods, possible registration requirements and problems sometimes involved with background checks,” he observed, “and how their rights might be delayed or even denied because some criminal has the same or similar name. In most states, they are discovering they need a license or permit to carry outside of their home, and there may be a whole additional set of requirements involved.

“They’re also hearing gun control groups demanding that gun shops be closed, while officials in some states are opening jail cells and releasing convicted criminals,” he noted. “It’s absurd, and new gun owners realize it. 

“All of that said,” Gottlieb continued, “we are encouraged that so many citizens have re-discovered the Second Amendment. The irony is that these good people have suddenly discovered how cumbersome the laws have become. We’re confident they’ll learn from the experience. In some states, where gun shops have been closed, would-be gun owners are figuring out that restricting gun ownership doesn’t cure a deadly virus.

“The ongoing crisis reminds us that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it,” he added. “The pandemic has affected us all, including those in law enforcement. With thousands of police officers, sheriffs’ deputies and state troopers on the sick list, now more than ever, these new gun owners and people who wish they could become gun owners have discovered they’re responsible for their own safety, and the safety of their families. 

“We encourage all new gun owners to seek competent training,” Gottlieb said. “Learn to handle your new firearms safely, and remember it’s up to all of you to protect your rights. It’s sad and at the same time uplifting that so many Americans will no longer be fence-sitters. They’re joining the ranks of gun owners and will soon understand, if they don’t already, why so many of their friends, neighbors and even family members have remained so zealous in their efforts to protect the rights you now hope to exercise and enjoy. Welcome aboard.”