Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday he will add gun stores to the list of essential businesses so they can reopen.

“In accordance with the guidance released over the weekend by the federal Department of Homeland Security we will allow firearms retailers to operate by appointment only and during limited hours, to conduct business, which, under law, must be done in person,” Murphy said.

“I am pleased that Gov. Murphy is finally recognizing and honoring our constitutional right to bear arms, especially amid this state of emergency,” said Sen. Michael Testa Jr., R-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic.

On March 25, Testa asked Murphy to designate gun stores essential during the COVID-19 state of emergency, to give New Jerseyans access to buying guns and ammunition.

Murphy, however, said Monday that he was taking the action as a result of federal guidance published Saturday night that includes gun sellers as part of critical infrastructure.

“It wouldn’t have been my definition,” Murphy said. “We will continue to enforce gun safety laws.”

He said gun shops operating in violation of the new rules should be reported to covid19.nj.gov/violation.

“The Second Amendment is essential to all law-abiding citizens, particularly for increased safety, security, and self-protection. New Jerseyans’ rights to purchase a firearm should have never been infringed upon in the first place,” Testa said Monday.

Murphy also announced that auto dealers are allowed to operate with online remote sales and delivery of vehicles. Auto repair shops have always been allowed to operate. Murphy added that real estate agents may show houses on a one-on-one basis and open houses are still prohibited.

Golf courses will remain closed, he said.

Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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