Discrimination? Mass. gun shops blocked from financial help during crisis

Massachusetts is offering small business loans to help during the Coronavirus outbreak, except to gun shops and a few other businesses. (Wikimedia Commons)

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has announced a support effort “to provide financial relief to Massachusetts businesses that have been affected by COVID-19,” but the program isn’t for everybody, and the list of small businesses that are excluded includes shops selling firearms.

Gun stores join “adult entertainment,” marijuana shops, companies involved in real estate investment and “multi-level marketing” on the excluded list.

Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League (GOAL), told Conservative Firing Line via telephone that “a lot of cities and towns have suspended processing firearm licenses.” This is because it’s a very close one-on-one process, he observed.

Jim Wallace, GOAL

While this measure is being taken to protect employees of law enforcement agencies, the problem boils down to law-abiding citizens being delayed or even denied their rights during an emergency, when having a firearm becomes very important. Concerns of social unrest are beginning to surface on social media posts, and the public realizes there aren’t police on every corner to keep the peace and maintain public safety.

Under the provisions of the assistance program, dubbed the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, $10 million has been set aside to “provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits.”

General Terms and Conditions
• Open to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by the COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits
• Negative impact must be verifiable
• Loan amounts up to $75,000
• Loan amount not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the 1st quarter of 2020
• No payments due for first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments (direct debited)
• Annual interest rate 3%
• Personal guarantee required of all owners with 20% or more interest in the company
• Personal credit score under 575 will require an exception
• All asset lien on business
• No prepayment penalty
• Ineligible businesses include companies involved in real estate investment, multi-level marketing, adult entertainment, cannabis or firearms. Companies with past due tax liabilities or tax liens or currently in bankruptcy (Corporate or Personal) are not eligible.

Wallace said he has contacted the governor’s office for an explanation why gun shops have been excluded from the program. So far, he has not gotten a response.

“Of all the weird things to weed out,” he observed.

Wallace said gun stores have sold out of inventory in some cases. People have been buying ammunition and firearms, as well as cleaning out the grocery stores.

“I tell people, ‘you live in the northeast,’ and you could be snowed in for four or five days,” he challenges, “and you’re not prepared for that?”

In other states, law enforcement agencies are “suspending” their fingerprint services because of the Coronavirus outbreak. This is happening as far away as Washington State, where sheriff’s departments are scrambling to come up with some solutions that do not amount to denial of civil rights.

Down in Texas, the state capitol was closed to public tours, according to KXAN, “until further notice.” Other public institutions are also closing their doors to the public to reduce as much as possible the potential for COVID-19 infection.

How much longer the panic continues is open to speculation. Many suspect the media are trying to perpetuate the story as long as possible. The only other story of major interest is the Democrat primary, and that’s coming down to two old politicians.


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