By executive order, the Governor of New Jersey has shutdown the NICS Check system that allows for the sale and transfer of firearms in the state. The NICS check shutdown effectively eliminates all commercial and private transfers of firearms in New Jersey. In addition, judicial processes in the state have been basically frozen, limiting proceedings to critical needs only. Any possible legal challenges to the NICS check system closure in a time of a “non-essential business shutdown” appears to be impossible.
In contrast, the Governor of Illinois used an executive order to proclaim that firearm and ammunition suppliers are essential businesses and should remain open in times of emergency.
We’ll keep you updated on the NJ NICS check shutdown as the story develops.
NJ – NICS Check Shutdown; IL – Gun Businesses Are Essential
On Saturday March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is putting New Jersey in lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. Per Executive Order 107, he is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers. The New Jersey State Police NICS Unit is directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services for submitting NICS transactions by eliminating the “Request Form” button, effective 9:00pm EST, Saturday, March 21, 2020. You will still have the ability to view the message board and the status of previously submitted transactions. This “Request Form” feature will remain off until further order by Governor Murphy. – NJ State Police NICS Portal
NSSF Imploring Government Officials to Designate Gun Businesses ‘Critical’
As your industry’s trade association, we want you to know the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) is hard at work for you during this challenging time as the nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic. NSSF is in contact with the White House, Capitol Hill and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advocating that our industry – from manufacturers to distributors to retailers to ranges – be declared by DHS as a “national critical infrastructure industry.” The DHS list is only guidance to states and local governments and does not carry the force of law. Therefore, NSSF is proactively working at the state and local level to advocate that our industry be exempted from any emergency ordinances or orders as “essential businesses.”
For example, through NSSF’s efforts, a proposed city ordnance in Albuquerque, N.M., to shutter firearm retailers was defeated.
Most recently, in response to NSSF’s efforts, the Governor of Illinois, in his emergency “shelter in place” executive order, declared that firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers are “essential” and may remain open for business. Please see official statement below:
Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support or materials necessary to operate, including computers, audio and video electronics, household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; hardware, paint, flat glass; electrical, plumbing and heating material; sanitary equipment; personal hygiene products; food, food additives, ingredients and components; medical and orthopedic equipment; optics and photography equipment; diagnostics, food and beverages, chemicals, soaps and detergent; and firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security;
NSSF is here to serve as a resource for you throughout this crisis. We will continue to keep our members informed on further developments and provide useful information over the next several months as we, the industry, navigate these challenging times together. Please visit NSSF.org for other useful information surrounding creating a crisis plan and securing your inventory. Please let us know ways that we can further support your business by reaching out to our membership team at 203-426-1320 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.