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.


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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Think gun shops should remain open and have a virus protocol.

Something the DOJ is cooking up.


Atta boy Jim

Travis from SLO

Just because five people at the county level decided that so called non essential stores must close doors not mean that it is right. Gov. Newsome said with underlying glee to a fawning reporter that it is just “nuance” between his order and martial law. In the US, we have a right now touchable by government for self defense and freedom, the fact the news rooms and gun stores are in the same category might be troubling to some of you but too bad a virus doesn’t give governments the right to suspend the bill if rights. Way to go Roosters and Uncle Ed’s for standing up to tyranny.

Travis from SLO

Sorry auto correct got me..


GOOD! We need more people to stand up to this blatant government over-reach and say enough is enough. We will wash our hands, we will improve our awareness and hygiene (hopefully) and continue with life.

We cannot, as a society, hide in our houses every time some new virus (man-made or natural) rears its head.

I firmly believe that even after 2-3 months of staying at home, most people are going to get this virus (SARS-CoV-2 aka the Chinese Corona Virus), in various severities (from unnoticeable to worse). If not this year, then next. It will be with us always, as is SARS, Influenza A (swine flu & avian flu), Dengue, Rotavirus, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV… most originated in China / SE Asia.

Less than a FRACTION of 1% of China’s population got this, and an even smaller number died. That may change in the coming year(s), but taken as a percentage of people, it’s not “shut down the State” worthy. I really think all of this panic is to reset the market and increase government power via limiting our freedoms. I hope I am wrong.


“Less than a FRACTION of 1% of China’s population got this, and an even smaller number died. That may change in the coming year(s), but taken as a percentage of people, it’s not “shut down the State” worthy”

That’s how quarantines work to begin with. They are effective in the infancy stages of the virus to prevent its spread. There’s no point in implementing drastic measures by the time most people have the virus.


Jim Mulhall appears to be profiting from public concerns over the coronavirus



George Garrigues

How can “news outlets” profit when businesses close and advertisers leave? We all know that the news media are financed by advertisers, and not the subscribers, don’t we? I mean, seriously . . .


I guess he’s worried about a zombie apocalypse

Uncle Jack

Get creative. Gun store should reallocate efforts toward a temporary business goal.

Something like a “Survival Safety Information Center” selling survival pre-packaged food and ‘supplies’ should suffice. Definitely essential.


The sell Black Rifle Coffee. Does that count?


Mulhall is human and I give him praise, as I would not shut down either. Everyone has the right to survive. No one is above anybody else to call shots in survival mode. My biz is shut down now as well(clients all in panic), and as a contractor have been severely affected by bad government and the influx of illegals over the past 20 years so I live check to check and cannot afford to be sitting idle. Soon I will lose all. Growling stomachs will bring out the wolves and I need protection from that. Will the government protect me? I think not! I most definitely think not! Instead of toilet paper I need ammo and arms for my family protection AND I need to work or else I will forced to become one of the wolves.