Grass Roots North Carolina and Gunowners of America sent a demand letter to the cities of Greensboro and Durham on Tuesday. It demanded they rescind or change the determination the firearms-related businesses were not essential. They had until noon today to make the change or they would face court action.
Yesterday, Mayor Nancy Vaughan of Greensboro informed GRNC and GOA that she wrongly determined gun stores and ranges as “non-essential”. Now it remains to be seen if Mayor Steve Schewel of Durham will do likewise.
On a related note, I got a response from Buncombe County yesterday for why they didn’t include gun stores and ranges in their list of essential businesses. Buncombe County felt that since state statute preempted them from closing them during periods of emergency that it would have been superfluous to have listed them as essential.
The release from GRNC on Vaughan’s retreat is below:
The mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina, has reversed herself and now agrees that gun stores within city limits can remain open, after being contacted by Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) and The Mayor had told the media that gun stores were not “essential” businesses, despite the fact that the city’s “stay-at-home” order stated otherwise.
This reversal comes after a Cease and Desist letter from GOA and GRNC urging Mayor Nancy Vaughan to correct her interpretation, or face legal action. Mayor Vaughan informed GOA and GRNC via email that she was incorrect in her interpretation.
While GOA and GRNC are thankful for the clarification, both organizations still look forward to seeing a public announcement by Mayor Vaughan to let the citizens of the Gate City know they can lawfully visit and purchase firearms and ammunition from gun stores during the “stay-at-home” order.
Likewise, Wake County, North Carolina has also reopened its gun stores after a similar letter sent by GRNC and GOA, which also sent letters Guildford County and the city of Durham urging the localities to ensure gun stores remain open or face legal action.
Elsewhere, when contacted by legal counsel for GRNC and GOA, the attorney for Orange County disavowed any statements previously made, saying its language would protect firearms businesses, and Buncombe County advises that although they did not specifically list firearm businesses as “essential,” the county will follow state guidelines which protect firearm businesses provided they follow social distancing requirements.