SPOKANE, Wash. - With Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Idaho Governor Brad Little issuing stay at home orders during the coronavirus outbreak, they've both released lists of what is deemed an essential business in their respective states.
However, there is at least one glaring difference between the two: firearm businesses.
Gun shops in Washington have been shut down during Governor Inslee's order, but just 20 miles to the east of Spokane in Idaho, gun shops are open for business.
"It's a violation of people's Second Amendment rights," Owner of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop Robin Ball said on Thursday. "But it's also a violation under the Washington State Constitution. So I hope our elected officials see that and reverse that decision. But we're doing our best to fill the customers' needs and stay within the limit of the law."
Sharp Shooting is still providing background checks for customers who began the process prior to the shut down and they are also fulfilling online orders one customer at a time.
For more information on services that will and will not be impacted at the shop, CLICK HERE.
I reached out to both the offices of Gov. Inslee and Gov. Little on Thursday to see if there was a specific reason for the decision of labeling a gun shop either essential or non-essential.
Gov. Inslee's office didn't have an immediate answer specifically related to why gun shops were deemed non-essential, other than pointing to the guidelines of other retail stores where they believe people would be making unnecessary contact. However, they said they'd look into it and I'll let you know about any future updates I receive.
Gov. Little's office basically told me that gun shops are considered essential businesses in Idaho and are open because the state wants to fully uphold the Second Amendment, even during times of emergency.
As for Washington, one thing Robin has already done, and something any business owner can do if they don't agree with being considered non-essential, is filing for inclusion of you business as essential. Robin told me she submitted her business and immediately received a response, however, the response basically stated that they've received a lot of submissions and it could take a while to hear back.
If you'd like to file your business for inclusion on the essential business list in Washington during the shutdown, CLICK HERE.