SafeSide Tactical suing Gov. Northam for closing indoor gun ranges

Executive Order 53 classified indoor gun ranges as non-essential

ROANOKE, Va. – A local indoor gun range and retail store with several locations is suing Gov. Northam for closing down indoor gun ranges via executive order.

SafeSide Tactical ownership told 10 News that their company filed a lawsuit against Northam on Thursday, as well as an injunction to have indoor gun ranges reopen.

A copy of the lawsuit given to 10 News shows that two groups - The Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America, Inc - are listed as plaintiffs along with SafeSide Tactical.

Northam announced Executive Order 53 on March 23, which called for the closure of certain non-essential businesses, as well as K-12 schools. EO 53 also banned public gatherings of more than 10 people.

According to the lawsuit, EO 53 mandated the “complete and categorical closure of all indoor shooting ranges.” Under the order, indoor gun ranges are classified as “recreation and entertainment businesses,” and therefore non-essential.

The lawsuit argues that indoor shooting ranges “cannot be properly placed” into the recreation and entertainment category.

The plaintiffs argue that the action Northam took with EO 53 is “beyond the scope of the Governor’s executive authority under the Constitution of Virginia..." They also argue that the action violates the right to keep and bear arms as outlined in Virginia’s constitution.

The injunction is described in the lawsuit as being on an “emergency basis," and would urge law enforcement agencies to not enforce the prohibition of indoor gun ranges, provided that the ranges adhere to proper social distancing and sanitizing guidelines.

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