The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published the essential critical infrastructure workforce in an attempt to provide guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting business shutdowns. In the breakdown of businesses that meet the criteria as essential to commerce and infrastructure, the firearms industry is mentioned specifically as “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges”. The guidance is non-binding and the firearms industry is mentioned in the ‘law enforcement, public safety and first responders’ subsection, however, it does not state whom they can or cannot service.
We’ve recently reported that some states are restricting firearms transfers by stopping NICS background check access while other states are independently determining that the firearms industry is an essential business and should remain open.
Additional details can be found below.
As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16th the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America that highlighted the importance of the critical infrastructure workforce.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authorities to secure critical infrastructure. Consistent with these authorities, CISA has developed, in collaboration with other federal agencies, State and local governments, and the private sector, an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” advisory list. This list is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. Decisions informed by this list should also take into consideration additional public health considerations based on the specific COVID-19-related concerns of particular jurisdictions.
This list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered, a federal directive or standard. Additionally, this advisory list is not intended to be the exclusive list of critical infrastructure sectors, workers, and functions that should continue during the COVID-19 response across all jurisdictions. Individual jurisdictions should add or subtract essential workforce categories based on their own requirements and discretion.
The advisory list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions, among others. It also includes workers who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure. The industries they support represent, but are not limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.
Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.