BELLEVUE, WA – Reports of increased crime as the coronavirus pandemic continues underscore the renewed public interest in gun ownership, and the necessity of gun shops and shooting ranges where genuine gun safety is practiced and taught, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“Fortunately,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “most of the crime now being reported involves commercial burglary of unoccupied businesses, but how long before the people responsible ramp things up? People, many of whom have never before owned a gun, now want that means of personal safety, for themselves, their families and their homes.

“That’s why it makes no sense to close down gun shops and shooting ranges as ‘non-essential’ while the coronavirus emergency continues,” he explained. “Gun sales are in record territory, and ordering gun stores to shut down is simply wrong.”

Published reports say burglaries are up in cities such as San Jose and Seattle, both in states where governors have arbitrarily decided gun stores are “non-essential,” Gottlieb noted. Reports from New Jersey and New York have revealed police are not immune to COVID-19 infection, and some experts are saying the country could be entering the worst phase of the pandemic in the next two weeks.

“Combine all of these circumstances,” Gottlieb observed, “and it is understandable why more people want to become gun owners. They are concerned about becoming crime victims, and about police agencies lacking the manpower to respond quickly, or even at all.

“Using the current emergency as an excuse to close gun shops amounts to giving the gun control agenda a higher priority than public safety,” he asserted. “Where else but a gun shop and local range can new gun owners learn about firearms safety, including safe storage? Where else can they purchase gun locks and gun safes, and receive competent instruction about responsible gun ownership?

“Saying gun stores are not essential in times of emergency isn’t common sense, it’s nonsense,” Gottlieb stated. “Such mandates don’t keep people safe, they keep people vulnerable. The irony is that state officials pushing this foolishness have their own armed security. Can you say hypocrite?”