Last week I wrote that the City of Durham had received a demand from Grass Roots North Carolina and GOA to designate gun stores as essential or face legal action. Greensboro also got one of these letters and folded it quickly.
They did fold but did it very quietly. What the City of Durham did was release an amendment to their original order saying they were merely going to adopt the amended Stay at Home order issued by the county. This new City of Durham order didn’t go into details as to what was or wasn’t an essential business. Mayor Stephen Schewel signed the order on the afternoon of Friday, April 3rd and it went into effect at 5pm on Saturday, April 4th.
Durham County’s order didn’t mention gun dealers or ranges as essential businesses. They just said that any business that was on the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA list was essential. That list did include firearms related businesses. Perhaps it is ironic that the title of the county order was “Second Amendment to the Declaration of a State of Emergency in Durham County, NC to Coordinate Protective Actions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.”
As I understand it, GRNC contacted Durham County and convinced them to them to comply. Somehow officials in Durham County convinced Mayor Schewel to comply but noted he refused to make any public statement about it.
IndyWeek is a free newspaper serving the Triangle. In NC-speak, the Triangle are the cities of Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and the smaller surrounding communities. IndyWeek is virulently anti-gun.
They have their panties in a wad that Durham folded to those “gun nuts” and their demands after Mayor Schewel said he wasn’t backing down. The article notes the original April 2nd deadline and the fact that GRNC and GOA didn’t sue.
In this case, April 2 came and went, and Schewel made no such statement, but the gun groups didn’t sue. So what happened?
Very quietly, the city rolled over.
IndyWeek then goes into the details of the Durham County and City of Durham orders which I posted above.
As to why Durham capitulated, IndyWeek has this response from Mayor Schewel.
“Our lawyers said we couldn’t win,” Schewel told the INDY on Tuesday. “And not only that they were gonna win, but that we were gonna have to pay their legal fees. And so that’s why we made the decision—which is, you know, awful. Gun stores are not essential. In fact, they are damaging. It’s terrible to be forced into this position.”
It is good to see the Constitution and some good legal advice trumped the anti-gun feelings of the good mayor. It should be no surprise that Schewel is a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors.