Former Atascadero police chief refuses to close his gun store

March 21, 2020

Rooster’s Firearms on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Richard Bastian

Update: San Luis Obispo County Administrator Wade Horton announced on Sunday that based on a request from Sheriff Ian Parkinson, the county plans to remove firearm stores from the list of businesses required to temporarily close their doors. As of March 23, firearm stores can legally open for business as long as social distancing requirements are met.

By RICHARD BASTIAN

A former Atascadero police chief, who currently owns Rooster’s Firearms Cocked & Loaded in Templeton, has refused to abide by San Luis Obispo County’s shelter at home order. The county specifically lists firearm stores as businesses required to “close their physical locations.”

With approximately 30 people in line inside his store waiting to buy guns and ammunition, Jim Mulhall appears to be profiting from public concerns over the coronavirus. And while most of Templeton is eerily quiet with empty parking places, Mulhall’s shop is crowded and the parking area is full.

The Rooster’s Firearms’ parking lot on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Richard Bastian

When asked why he was open following the shelter at home order, Mulhall said he was selling protection to law-abiding people. An employee ordered a reporter not to take photos in the store, and then unsuccessfully attempted to stop the journalist from taking photos outside.

Very few cars parked Main Street in Templeton. Photo by Richard Bastian

Violating the county shelter in place order, for profit or not, is a misdemeanor punishable by fines, jail time, or both.

While multiple SLO County gun dealers are following the county order to temporarily shut their doors, the owner of Uncle Ed’s Outfitters has also chosen to remain open in spite of the emergency order.

Uncle Ed’s Outfitters on Saturday. Photo by Richard Bastian

An employee at the Atascadero store, who refused to divulge his name, claimed the undersheriff said their store could remain open because his Second Amendment rights.

While the Second Amendment allows citizens to bear arms, it does not require gun store to remain open during an emergency.

Even so, a sheriff’s dispatcher said the sheriff’s department is following county rules, which require firearm stores to close their physical locations.

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Insighter

The Buddy System is in play here. Ian pulls some political strings to help out a member of the brotherhood to bend the rules the rest of us are abiding by.


Jorge Estrada

I tend to agree with the store owner. If marijuana stores are considered essential (for whatever reason) gun stores should be open too as many sense their well being when armed and able to defend their at home personal safety. There is no secret that even in the beginning of these hard times, some people are already emulating unreasonable behavior.


kayaknut

Don’t you know marijuana businesses paid good money for their elected officials, Adam Hill for one, and expect a return on their investment.


BigRed

Might not be a bad idea to keep arming law-abiding citizens. Background checks and DOJ filings are mandated. First responders are getting quarantined. Its a domino effect that will have skeleton crew law enforcement at the same time concerns about social unrest is high. Believe me, the city of SLO is planning an emergency operations outpost to handle such contingencies. Nobody is desperate yet, give it month.

Good luck, All.


RalphKane

What happens when half the staff of the “emergency operations outpost” are either quarantined or in the hospital?


Are the good citizens of SLO expected to defend their homes and lives with broomsticks?


Liberals and the governments they elect are in perpetual denial regarding these possibilities. Three months ago, this stuff would be dismissed as tinfoil hat kookery.


Nobody’s smirking now.


RalphKane

Since the update…


Chalk up one for the Good Guys!


1965buick

So, let me get this straight. Some folks made a decision you don’t agree with, so the answer is just to ignore it. Got it. I’ll have to remember this.;)


RalphKane

“The Second Amendment makes all others possible.”


Authoritarian statists hate that.


obispan

Jim sold me my PX4. My toilet paper is safe. Still figuring out how to convince the cat to eat granola.