U. s. a. – – (Ammunition. Com) – Showmasters, who run the United Nations Arms Show in Chantilly, Virginia; John Crump and Sonny’s Guns and Transfers, who frequently use the show, have filed a lawsuit against Governor Northam and M.. . Norman Oliver as the state health commissioner, in order to prevent the closing of one of the largest firearms displays in the country next weekend, 20, 21 and 22 November 2020.
The restrictions were released on Friday, November 13th, and take effect on November 16. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, November 17th. Nations weapons show is scheduled for Friday, November 20.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is not a friend of gun owners or has the right to keep and carry weapons. Governor Northam imposed several questionable constitutional restrictions on people in Virginia as executive orders, bypassing the legislature.
The gun show is a peaceful gathering of people imaginable. Armed people routinely discuss problems of overriding government authority. Governor Northam’s actions will be discussed and condemned at the United Nations Arms Fair in Chantilly, Virginia. Certainly discussing the motives of the ruler.
Many of the emergency restrictions in executive orders on trade, movement, and assembly are vague and subject to interpretation. This is the case with the latest set of restrictions.
One of the clarity required in the lawsuit is how the Nations Gun Show is classified. Months of planning, hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses for organizers, exhibitors and attendees, and millions of dollars in economic activity, all hang on crafting vague classifications of emergency orders..
Orders were changed by executive order at the whim of the governor. Is the display of nations’ weapons considered a « brick and mortar » institution? Or is it an « entertainment place »? The exercise of constitutional rights and tens of millions of dollars of economic activity depend on such a relatively trivial distinction. From the Nations Weapon Show:
The show takes months to compile, and it is too late for most of these businesses to recoup their losses. It will cause irreparable damage to everyone involved in the building, auxiliary companies, exhibitors, lawns, hotel, stores, restaurants, and mall.. . Exhibitors have significant investments in inventory, as well as restaurants and stores, many of which are unrecoverable. We’ll launch GoFundMe and another type of crowdfunding to cover legal defense expenses.
The show was managed safely in August 2020 with the Covid-19 restrictions in place. From the lawsuit:
19. The nation’s weapon show has been successfully and safely managed, even during COVID-19. The Dulles Expo Center and The Nation’s Gun Show maintain a written set of policies and procedures (see Figure B) that not only reflect the clearance and spacing requirements provided by the state, but go further than the state requires. For example, Showmasters previously used a germicidal UV-C lighting system and an industrial HEPA air purification system in order to combat the spread of disease throughout the show.. Showmasters has also in the past ordered tens of thousands of face masks to be delivered to attendees.
20. During the previous iteration of The Nation’s Gun Show, Showmasters and Dulles Expo Center staff effectively limited the number of attendees on the ground at any given time and imposed sterilization, removal, and concealment requirements between participants.. As a result, none of the state or county health departments have reported any spread of COVID-19 as a result of the Nation weapon display.
The court will have to act quickly if it is to prevent permanent harm to participants in the arms show. Much time and treasure have already been spent. Denying the chance that this gun show will cause great permanent damage.
In addition to the economic damage, canceling the show would violate constitutional rights under the Virginia Bill of Rights. For example, the right to freedom of expression and assembly. From the Virginia Bill of Rights:
Section 12. Freedom of speech and the press; The right to assemble peacefully, and to seek.
Freedom of speech and the press are among the greatest bastions of freedom and can only be restricted by authoritarian governments; That any citizen may speak freely of his feelings, write them and publish them on all topics, and be responsible for the abuse of this right; That the General Assembly will not pass any law restricting freedom of expression or the press, nor the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the government to address grievances.
The authoritarian shutdown of the Nations Gun Show, previously operating under Covid-19 guidelines, shows a readiness to violate several provisions of the Virginia Bill of Rights.
It seems likely that the court will prevent such a catastrophic event by making it clear that there is no authority to shut down such events unilaterally by the governor, even under the authority of emergency. .
Virginia’s emergency authority is not absolute. It is restricted by the power granted by the Virginia Legislature.
Dean Weingarten was a peace officer, military officer, and was on the handgun team at the University of Wisconsin for four years, first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona Hidden Pregnancy Course for fifteen years until the Constitution-carrying goal was achieved. With degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, he retired from the Department of Defense after 30 years of work in research, development, testing, and evaluation for the Army. .
Ralph Northam, Virginia
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