Things were bad enough when Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker announced that his office was suspending all pistol permit and concealed-carry services.

Now the Wake County Board of Commissioners’ order placing the county on lockdown save for “Essential Activities, Essential Government Functions, or Critical Infrastructure” apparently forces the shutdown of guns and ammunition stores.

That order is clearly outside their scope. It’s unconstitutional.

Fuquay Gun, a very prominent firearms store in Fuquay-Varina (southern Wake County), posted this today on Instagram:

Due to the recent Wake County Stay at Home Order. We will be forced to close our doors at 5pm today and will not be able to reopen until 04/17/2020.

What does the law say? This. Counties and municipalities have certain powers in states of emergencies to enact ordinances that place prohibitions and restrictions:

Upon the possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and use of gasoline, and dangerous weapons and substances, except that this subdivision does not authorize prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition.

What is Wake County officials’ problem with people being able to buy guns and ammunition “during a declared state of emergency even within one’s home ‘where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute'”?

For the source of that quotation, for the history of that quoted portion of state law, and for more on why guns and ammo sales are essential services in an emergency, read my research brief today.