Gun retailers can still offer curbside services to sell guns and ammunition to customers amid the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced in an industry letter published Friday.
Firearms businesses have been already deemed an “essential service” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, even as thousands of “nonessential” businesses remain closed and the Trump administration is urging people to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Other essential businesses include grocery stores, hospitals and pharmacies.)
Gun control activists have criticized the decision, warning that increased gun violence could divert already strained health care resources away from responding to the pandemic.
Around the country, gun owners have flocked to stores to stock up and there’s been a significant spike in gun and ammunition sales in January and February, according to the Associated Press.