Updated: 2:57 PM EDT May 7, 2020
Firearms industry was excluded from Gov. Baker’s list of essential businesses
Sales of firearms will be allowed to resume in Massachusetts on Saturday, according to a preliminary injunction issued Thursday by a federal judge.
Gov. Baker had excluded gun shops from the list of essential businesses allowed to continue operations during the coronavirus emergency. A complaint filed on behalf of gun shops, individuals and Second Amendment groups challenged that decision.
“The Plaintiffs bringing this action do not mean to minimize the severity or urgency of the coronavirus pandemic,” they wrote in the complaint. “The exigencies surrounding this viral pandemic both justify and necessitate changes in the manner in which people live their lives and conduct their daily business. However, this emergency—like any other emergency—has its constitutional limits. It would not justify a prior restraint on speech, nor a suspension of the right to vote. Just the same, it does not justify a ban on obtaining guns and ammunition.”Gov. Baker reverses decision to open gun shops, ranges during coronavirus emergency
Judge Douglas Woodlock heard arguments about the case over teleconference Thursday and granted the motion for a preliminary injunction against the state. It will go into effect at noon on Saturday, the court record shows.
Additionally, the record shows Woodlock denied a state request to delay the injunction pending an appeal.
The state is expected to file a motion to dismiss the case no later than May 28.
The next scheduled hearing is set for May 29.