Massachusetts Gun Shop Owner Stays Open Despite Gov’s Orders, Offers Curbside Service

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A handful of firearms retailers are refusing to comply with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration that, as so-called “non-essential” businesses, they must close to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Back in March, Baker, a Republican, became one of several governors across the nation to order all non-essential brick-and-mortar businesses to close to both workers and the public. Baker’s order was originally set to expire on April 7, but last week he extended it through May 4.

The state released a list of businesses and organizations deemed “essential” which would be allowed to keep their physical storefronts and facilities open.

While firearm and ammunition manufacturers, importers, and distributors were on the list, dealers and retailers were notably absent.

Try telling that to John Costa, owner of The Gunrunner in Middleboro.

In an interview with WBZ-TV Costa said he strongly disagrees with Baker’s classification of his business as “non-essential,” arguing that the Second Amendment protects his right to remain open during the pandemic.

“OK, under the Second Amendment, we have every right to defend ourselves,” he told WBZ.

For his part, Costa is certainly taking the pandemic and the CDC’s social distancing guidelines very seriously.

Rather than allowing customers inside the store to browse and buy, Costa has adapted to doing business curbside for the time being.

Customers are asked to knock on the door to be served. They tell Costa what they’re looking for and, if he has it in stock, he brings it out to the buyer.

In spite of a bit of an awkward way of doing business, Costa says business has been through the roof—and has been ever since the coronavirus crisis first hit American shores.

“This is, like, totally, totally way off the walls,” Costa said. “I mean, yes, business is very, very, very good.”

Naturally, Gov. Baker isn’t keen on Costa and other gun shops remaining open.

“They shouldn’t have been open last week,” Baker said on Wednesday, according to WBZ. “The only folks on the firearm side that have been essential in Massachusetts since we issued the initial order are manufacturers.”

At this point, Costa says no one has attempted to force him to stop doing business. Until then, he has every intention of serving his community.

That’s how you defend the Second Amendment!

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