Are we an "Essential Service" and Will We be Reopening?
With the Ontario release of "Essential Services" there has been some confusion as to whether gun stores are included. The confusion comes from these entries:
21. Businesses that farm, harvest, process, manufacture, produce or distribute food, including beverages, crops, animal products and by-products, aquaculture, hunting and fishing
22. Businesses that support the food supply chain including assembly yards, livestock auctions, food distribution hubs, feed mills, farm equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, food terminals and warehouses, animal slaughter plants and grain elevators
Our interpretation is that a gun store in our location is neither a business that farms, harvests, processes, manufactures, produces or distributes food, nor does it support the Ontario food supply chain. The mention of "hunting and fishing" may cause some confusion, but it is used as an example of the definition preceding it, not as an additional type. We believe it references those who live off the land and sell what they harvest. And so, possibly in the North, a gun store, which supplies ammo for these individuals, might be considered essential and so needed to be included. But there aren't a whole lot of people hunting to eat in Southwestern Ontario.
And to be honest, whether this interpretation is correct or not, it doesn't really matter. Our primary concern is for our staff and their safety. We are greatly appreciative of the frontline workers that do work in the essential services that ensure we are fed and healthy and safe. We believe the best way we can support them is to openly embrace what we are: a wonderful hobby and sport; and not attempt to cram ourselves into something that is not in the spirit of the law. And as a non-essential service, we will remain closed at our retail location and protect our staff and customers so as to do our part to flatten the curve.
Our online stores will remain open and we will work to expand what we offer on those sites so that our customers can continue to enjoy their sport which is, by the way, a great activity to do while maintaining social distancing.