Lynchburg, VA — One gun range in Virginia is claiming a victory after a Lynchburg judge issued a temporary injunction against Governor Ralph Northam’s decree that gun ranges are not essential.
Governor Northam forced all non-essential businesses to close March 24th, and further declared that gun ranges fall into that category. This despite the fact that President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security guidelines had specifically said that gun ranges should be considered essential.
Lynchburg Circuit Judge Patrick Yeatts disagreed with Governor Northam in his recent ruling. His injunction said that the gun range in question, Lynchburg Range and Training LLC, may reopen.
Judge Yeatts said, “The Governor, the Department of State Police, and all law enforcement divisions, agencies, and officers within the Commonwealth, are hereby enjoined and prohibited from enforcing, in any manner, the prohibition on public access to Lynchburg Range & Training, LLC.”
Yeatts said the lawsuit brought by Safeside Tactical was legitimate because Northam’s Executive Oegree Number 53 was a violation of state law. Yeatts did say that the gun range must continue to abide by social distancing rules while they were open.
Northam Has Friends In High Places
Not long after Judge Yeatts’ decision, the Attorney General of Virginia weighed in on the case. No friend to gun owners, AG Mark Herring has previously said that the Second Amendment Sanctuary measures passed by more than 95% of the state have no legal effect and won’t stop gun control efforts.
Herring said of Yeatts’ injunction:
“Governor Northam’s efforts to save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19 are necessary and proving to be effective, but unfortunately, the gun lobby believes the ability to shoot a gun indoors during this pandemic is worth risking further spread of the virus and making Virginia communities and families less safe.”
To the radical left — who think that they should be able to control every aspect of the citizen’s life — this injunction seems unnecessary and reckless.
Yeatts’ specifically addressed the issue of whether Northam –or future governors — had unlimited power during a state of emergency.
Yeatts said, “The governor appears to argue that, when he declares a state of emergency, he can ignore any law that limits his power, even laws designed to limit his power during a state of emergency. The court cannot agree with such an expansive interpretation of the governor’s authority.”
Applies to Lynchburg Only–For Now
Sadly for the rest of the state, Yeatts’ injunction specifically applies to the gun ranges in Lynchburg, VA. But still, once the legal legwork has been done, other gun ranges in the state could press similar suits.
It’s good for gun owners across Virginia to know that not every state official has lost their ever-loving minds.