Virginia Judge Rules Gov. Northam’s Closure of Indoor Gun Ranges Violated State Gun Rights Laws
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Judge Patrick Yeatts issued a temporary injunction allowing Safeside Tactical to open its doors. According to reports, it’s the first successful lawsuit against the closure orders Northam issued on March 23. Safeside Tactical worked with gun-rights groups to challenge the order on April 10.
In its complaint, the company and the gun rights organizations alleged Northam exceed his authority:
[The Governor] is barred from closing shooting ranges under the Virginia “Emergency Services and Disaster Law.” But even more importantly, his closure order infringes on rights recognized and protected by Article I, § 13 of the Virginia Constitution. It does not matter that the Governor has issued an emergency declaration or declared a state of emergency, as no elected official has the discretionary authority to suspend the protections the People wrote into their Constitution which also created the office in which the Governor serves.
Judge Yeatts agreed.
“During an emergency,” Yeatts wrote, “the Governor is given great deference.”
But state law, “specifically limits his authority in relation to the right to keep and bear arms.”
“It is regrettable,” Yeatts wrote, “the Governor only one time in a footnote cited the statute on which this case turns.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) is considering appealing the decision.
Image Credit: Craig from Richmond, Virginia`, United States [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]