Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen

Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen

Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen (image:

The Firearms Policy Coalition, along with a trio of private citizens, is suing Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which includes the city of Pittsburgh, for shutting down their firearms division, which processes concealed carry permit applications, in response to COVID-19.

The Post-Gazette reports:

A gun rights group and three individuals have sued the Allegheny County sheriff, the county, and the state commissioner over the shutdown of the county’s firearms division and the state’s ban on transporting loaded guns on public roads or spaces during the COVID-19 crisis.

It looks like FPC moved fast on this one considering only about a week has passed since Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen shut down the firearms division. (Yes, he shut it down, blaming COVID-19, nine months into the pandemic.)

We’ll see how the lawsuit progresses. It isn’t the first time a county, city, or state has tried to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to deny citizens their Second Amendment rights.

From the FPC’s press release announcing the suit:

“The Commonwealth’s criminal laws, and the shutdown of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Firearms Division, among other laws, policies, and practices we challenge in this case, make it impossible for our clients to lawfully carry firearms in public, in violation of their fundamental right to bear arms,” said FPC’s Adam Kraut. “Allegheny County residents who do not have a license to carry firearms are now being completely denied their rights on pain of severe criminal penalties. We look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all who wish to carry firearms in public for self-defense.”

“As the Supreme Court just days ago made clear, governments may not ignore the Constitution and prevent people from exercising their rights even during a pandemic,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “The defendants’ unconstitutional laws and policies have made it impossible for law-abiding people to exercise their right to bear arms. That is a policy choice that the Constitution takes off the table. Through this case, other FPC lawsuits, and many more cases that will be filed very soon, FPC will continue fighting forward and work to restore the People’s right to keep and bear arms across the United States.”

What do you think of the attempts that have been and are being made under “emergency powers” to severely delay or entirely deny the right to bear arms during the COVID-19 era?

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