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State Sen. Michael L. Testa, Jr. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Testa tells Murphy to open gun shops

Senator: ‘People have a constitutional right to bear arms and to defend themselves and their families’

By David Wildstein, March 25 2020 1:06 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order closing non-essential businesses to combat the spread of COVID-19 includes gun stores.

State Sen. Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland) wants him to lift the restriction to allow New Jerseyans to protect themselves “if needed,” saying gun stores are an essential retail business critical to public safety.

“People have a constitutional right to bear arms and to defend themselves and their families during these uncertain times,” Testa said. “Gun stores should never have been closed in the first place. Now that more police departments are reporting officers sick with the coronavirus, it’s increasingly clear that understaffed law enforcement agencies may not have the ability to respond immediately when a family needs help.”

Testa noted that Pennsylvania has allowed gun stores to reopen.

“The governor is doing the right thing by amending his list of essential businesses as we gain a greater understanding of what is critical to maintain the safety and security of New Jersey during this crisis,” said Testa, a freshman GOP senator. “He needs to recognize that gun shops are essential too.”

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