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Some Washington gun shops are staying open in defiance of Gov. Inslee's order

Gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman collected signatures on a petition to allow gun shops to stay open.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee changed the list of essential businesses this week. Washington's gun shops are not considered essential. 

Some gun shops are defying the governor’s orders and staying open.

The reader board outside of Wade’s Eastside Guns in Bellevue reads: “We are essential.”

Even with the governor’s stay-at-home order, they’ve stayed busy.

RELATED: Gun store owners say sales are up since start of coronavirus pandemic

A statement on their website says: “We are still open... Your right to the protection of yourself, your family and others is an essential need and a constitutional right.”

In Factoria, gubernatorial candidate, Tim Eyman collected signatures on a petition to allow gun shops to stay open.

“If we’re locked down in our houses, he can ignore us. If we’re willing to come out and sign a petition in a safe, ecological way, I think that voice is amplified,” Eyman explained. “We can’t sacrifice our rights, no matter what’s going on. We can have safety and we can have liberty, we don’t have to choose.”

Alice Wells drove 90 minutes from her home in Shelton, intent on adding her signature to the petition.

“People don’t know what’s going on. From day-to-day the rules are changing, and the laws are changing, and people are scared, and they want to have some kind of protection,” Wells said.

RELATED: Some gun stores staying open despite Washington's stay-at-home order

Governor Inlsee’s stance is: the sooner businesses comply, the sooner they’ll be back in business.

“I would encourage everyone to be on this effort, be following this order and we will get through this and the more people do this, the faster this job will get done so that all of our business will open. That's the goal here,” he said.

Governor Inslee said, businesses violating the order will first get a warning. Then if they continue to operate, they can lose their licenses and/or be charged with a gross misdemeanor.

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