March 24, 2020
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has announced that they will be closing all gun retailers as they are “not an essential function.”
Sheriff Villanueva also added 1,300 more deputies to patrol the county and released 1,700 “nonviolent” inmates from county jails since Governor Gavin Newson issued a stay-at-home order in the state.
Speaking to Fox 11, Villanueva claimed to support the Second Amendment, but spewed anti-gun talking points while announcing the gun store shut down.
“We will be closing them, they are not an essential function,” Villanueva said. “I’m a supporter of the 2nd amendment, I’m a gun owner myself, but now you have the mixture of people that are not formerly gun owners and you have a lot more people at home and anytime you introduce a firearm in a home, from what I understand from CDC studies, it increases fourfold the chance that someone is gonna get shot.”
The station reports that he also freed 10% of the inmate population from county jails — nonviolent offenders with misdemeanor sentences that were up within 30 days.
“We’re gonna keep violent felony suspects who are a threat to the community in the jail no matter what,” Villanueva said. “Anybody who has an idea that somehow we’re not going to be hard on crooks out there on the streets, they’re tragically mistaken, there’s twice as many deputies on the street now so the odds of you getting caught are a lot higher.”
Though he has doubled the police patrol, he claims that the National Guard is not active in the county, despite photos posted to social media that show large amounts of military vehicles.
“If we start losing major portions of our sworn personnel, that impacts our ability to man jails or our patrol obligations, and were running out of people to do that, if were in that position typically our counterparts in LAPD they’ll be in the same boat, then we can use the National Guard to start assigning them to security operations,” Villanueva said.
On Monday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied an emergency request that would have blocked the governor’s order to close all gun retailers in the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The court ruled on Sunday evening that the gun shops could be closed down, letting the order go into effect on Monday.
The gun shop shut down was part of an order by Democrat Governor Tom Wolf that closed all businesses that are not considered to be “life sustaining.” Gun rights groups argued before the Supreme Court that this should include weapons retailers, but they were denied.
The order shut down the stores on Monday without any timeline for when they can reopen.