TRENTON, NJ- Gun stores aren’t “essential”, but apparently liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries are.
Raise your hand if you’re shocked.
On Saturday night, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy placed the 9 million residents of his state under a stay-at-home order.
The governor said he felt the order was needed because “folks needed to be jolted.”
He told ABC’s This Week:
“You mentioned in the tape that it’s no time to panic, but just the same, it’s no time for business as usual.
We won World War II not because we panicked. We were smart. We were aggressive. We worked hard. That’s what you’re going to need right now.”
Additionally, the governor banned all gatherings and ordered all nonessential retail businesses to close their doors by 9pm Saturday.
The governor tweeted:
“I take personal responsibility for the public health and safety of New Jersey. If you are unhappy about our aggressive social distancing measures, I’m sorry. But your safety is my highest priority.”
We have only two choices:
1. Let #COVID19 run its course and pay a huge long-term price in fatalities and in our economy
2. Aggressively #FlattenTheCurve
As hard as it may be now, we’ve taken choice #2.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 22, 2020
Like everyone else, Governor Murphy has no idea how long this order may be in place. He has guessed that it will last “weeks to months.”
He told reporters:
“This is not next week. I wish it were.”
Regarding schools, he said there has been no final decision on how long they will remain closed.
He did say, however:
“The chances are overwhelming we’re not going back to school a week from Monday [as previously planned].”
Likewise, his stay-at-home order will almost inevitably last beyond that as well.
Police are likely to be used to enforce the order, as that has already happened at a liquor store. Roger Wilco Liquor Store in Pennsauken had a huge line of people (who were not appropriately social-distanced) waiting to stock up.
Police arrived to get people out of the line, and the store closed after that.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on executive order instructing residents to stay home: "It's quite clear that unless we crack the back on the social distancing side…we're going to have an overwhelming amount of pressure on the health care system." https://t.co/xRoBUGAZDo pic.twitter.com/geBxHP7I1i
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 22, 2020
The Governor said:
“If folks are monkeying around, we will take action.”
He did not specify what action would be taken, but he has said recently that noncompliance will result in prosecution at the local level.
Along with his order, the governor announced Saturday that New Jersey has had a total of 1,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths. The State borders New York, which has been hit hard with 10,356 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and at least 76 deaths.
Residents are mostly ordered to stay at home, with some exceptions. Among those are obtaining “essential goods or services,” seeking medical care, going to work or exercising outdoors.
Parties, weddings, in-person services, and the like are banned.
The governor said:
“It pains me that important life moments cannot be celebrated the way they are supposed to. Any place where people congregate is a place where [the virus] can be spread.”
The governor has also asked that people make arrangements to work from home whenever possible.
Like other states, “nonessential” retail businesses must close. Stores that can stay open are:
Grocery stores, pharmacies, medical marijuana dispensaries, medical supply stores, gas stations, convenience stores, home improvement stores, banks, laundromats, pet stores, liquor stores, auto repair shops, office supply stores, mail and delivery stores.
Unfortunately, libraries will be closed until further notice.
I just mandated the indefinite closure of ALL
📚Municipal, county, and State public libraries
📚Libraries and computer labs at public & private higher ed institutions
I know libraries are a critical part of the fabric of our communities, but we must slow the spread of #COVID19.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 21, 2020
Examples of industries that may stay open are manufacturing, trucking, construction, transportation, shipping, food production, food delivery and health care, although they, too, are ordered to stay home if their work is not essential to the business operation.
Medical facilities are obviously allowed to stay open, including any“where a sick or injured person is given care or treatment, such as: doctor’s offices, hospitals, dentist offices, long-term care facilities, and other medical offices.”
Additionally, veterinarians are also allowed to stay open.
Children’s day care centers may stay open, because, the governor said, many essential workers need someone to watch their kids.
Garbage and recycling collection will continue, as will public transportation. These, though, will be placed on modified schedules.
Only critical businesses may remain open:
🩹Medical supply stores
🐶Pet supply stores
🍽️Restaurants and bars providing take-out and delivery only
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 21, 2020
Governor Murphy said:
“Life in New Jersey does not have to come to a complete standstill. Residents can still go for a walk or go for a run outside. … If you do go outside for these activities or head to the grocery store, we’re urging … no, we’re ordering everyone to practice social distancing and keep a safe, six-foot difference between you and others.”
While residents don’t have to completely shut down their lives, the governor has asked that people do not retreat to their “second homes at the Jersey Shore”. The towns, he said, aren’t prepared for an influx of people.
The governor also stated that his state’s ability to test for COVID-19 is “ahead of the curve.” Saturday morning, which was its second day of operation, was at full capacity within minutes of opening.
Police turned people away after 15 minutes of opening, as hundreds of cars waiting in line for the drive-thru tests offered at Bergen County Community College in Paramus.
Officers announced over megaphones:
“There are no more tests. Come back tomorrow.”
The testing site had 350 test kits on Saturday. On Friday, it shut down four hours early after using up all 650 tests. There are 2,500 testing kits allocated to the site every week, and officials reported they expected 200 people on the first day.
Those tested have to be New Jersey State residents. Prior to testing, they are first screened for symptoms of the virus which include high fever, cough, and shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms.
We have 442 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 1,327.
• Atlantic: 4
• Bergen: 363
• Burlington: 21
• Camden: 15
• Cumberland: 1
• Cape May: 2
• Essex: 107
• Gloucester: 6
• Hudson: 97
• Hunterdon: 14 pic.twitter.com/ZNfyLWO6gS
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 21, 2020
More than 30% of the state’s cases confirmed have been out of Bergen County.
Governor Murphy said New Jersey’s greatest needs are “personal protective equipment” for health-care providers, (such as medical masks and gloves), and assistance for small businesses.
He said that between New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, $100 billion in “direct cash assistance” for small businesses is needed.
“The flattening of the curve, the social distancing, telling everybody just stay home gives us a real shot to keep the numbers down, to keep the pressure lesser than it otherwise would be on our health-care system. And that will, God willing, save lives, have fewer sick folks.”
In case you don’t get the message, the governor summed up his intention with these orders:
“We don’t want you out there. Period.”
It’s not just New Jersey.
Law Enforcement Today has learned that a northern California gun shop, Solar Tactical disputes its designation as “non-essential”” and will keep doors its open even though Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued “shelter in place” orders.
KCRA 3 reported that Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelley said that for now, his office is going to “play nice”, but will soon follow with a “notice to close” order if the gun store owners refuse to close up on their own.
On their Facebook page, Solar tactical protested the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s attempt to lump them in with non-essential businesses, pointing out that the Second Amendment is essential to the constitution and to the American way of life:
“Alameda County Sheriffs office is trying to close down bay area gun shops. Your 2nd Amendment right is no longer considered essential during forced shelter in place.
Today we went to appointments only to avoid any large groups and only have 1-2 customers in the store at a time. The Department of Justice has not locked the DROS system and is still allowing transactions.
Please share and get the word out. Call your local officials, news stations, and Alameda County Sheriffs office to let them know how you feel about your 2nd Amendment rights being taken away.”
The post then included the numbers for the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Alameda County Public Ordinance.
UPDATE: Apparently, after a threat by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, who apparently has a lot of time on their hands, the gun shop closed as of Friday.
The owner of the store, Mike Addis said that he had seen a spike in gun and ammo sales since Newsom’s stay at home order went into effect. He said that a shipment of boxes packed with ammo sold out in a couple of hours after arriving earlier in the week.
“They’re concerned about looting. They’re concerned about their safety in the house. That’s what’s driving all of this—first time buyers concerned about their safety,” Addis said.
Joshua Boothby was about to pick up a Glock that he had purchased for $700. Now, since apparently executive orders trump the Constitution, he will have to wait until the stay-at-home order is lifted.
“Especially in a crisis like this, this is something that every citizen that isn’t a felon and doesn’t have a criminal record should have the God honest right to do,” Boothby said.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has created a team of deputies who go out and basically harass store owners in the county that Newsom has determined do not have the right to open so that their owners can make a living. Sgt. Ray Kelly said the businesses are typically family-owned small businesses, including some hair and nail salons, whose owners do not realize they are breaking the law.
“They absolutely have been totally cooperative, and they’ve closed,” Kelly said. “They just needed some education on what’s going on.”
Look at the position these bureaucrats have put police officers in. They have now been reduced to going out and harassing business owners. Meanwhile, people who commit real crimes in cities like San Francisco are being cut loose by their left-wing district attorney. You can’t make this stuff up.
In Oakland, where real crime is out of control, police officers have also been reduced to business enforcement agents, ensuring that “non-essential” businesses are closed.
Mayor Libby Schaaf, who once famously warned residents when ICE was going to conduct a raid, is all over this newfound power that politicians have found themselves possessing. She said that currently the Oakland PD is issuing “informative warnings,’ not citations. However, she warned (in her sternest warning voice probably) that could change if businesses continue to defy the order, she said.
Last Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide “stay-at-home order. Other governors in the U.S. have issued similar orders, including Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut and others.
WHYY reported that one small gun shop in Pennsylvania planned to stay open in spite of the order. The shop owner, who refused to be identified, said:
“I’m an essential business. I’m firearms. That’s essential. It’s second amendment rights.”
In San Jose, the chief of police, Eddie Garcia ain’t messing around when it comes to businesses staying open in defiance of Newsom’s order.
— Zoog C. Hawks TEXT TRUMP TO 88022 (@zoogerdee) March 21, 2020
“We’re not gonna stay in educational (mode) for long,” Garcia said. In other words, no more warnings.
The mayor is asking residents to rat out any businesses that stay open that shouldn’t be. They are asking the public to call 311, not911 if they see a business that shouldn’t be open.
Garcia said that the department is going to deploy eight officers—four patrol cars with two officers each—on both the day shift and night shift to enforce the ban. Sixteen officers per day will be tasked with enforcing the order. One can imagine that police in San Jose must have better things to do with their time. But this is where we are at in 2020…police officers relegated to zoning enforcement officers basically.
As of Friday, police had contacted 56 “nonessential” businesses and asked them to shut down, Garcia said. Those included barber shops, smoke shops, a billiards hall, a car wash, restaurants and a video game store. Officers showed the order and they have all since closed.
However, Garcia is going to get tough next week…no more Mr. Nice Guy! Starting then, if businesses reopen or refuse to shut down, Garcia is going to drop the hammer on them! They could be slapped with a criminal complaint, a business license violation or a health code violation.
Garcia says he does sympathize with the business owners’ situation.
“It’s sad. They’re telling our officers they don’t know how they’re gonna pay their bills. It touches our officers. But at the same time they have a role and a job to do,” Garcia said.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said:
“Those are the realities. It takes the pressure off our first responders having to interact with those folks. It distracts them from their important duties to keep people safe and healthy.”
Oh, Garcia also added that police are also acting as social distancing police, breaking up gatherings of private individuals who were not social distancing.
We are truly in a different world.
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