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Gun Stores Lose Fight To Reopen In LA — Again

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Gun rights activists and gun stores have tried to fight orders to close during the coronavirus pandemic, but for a second time they've lost.

Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel denied a request by Turner's Operations for a temporary restraining order against the mayor’s executive order, which deemed gun stores "non-essential businesses," according to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. Before that, federal court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. denied a similar request.

The city has also filed prosecutions against 10 more businesses that have refused to close despite the mayor's order and repeated warnings, Feuer said during L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's nightly update. That's in addition to four prosecutions that were filed previously. Feuer said there are more to come.

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Los Angeles police have so far referred 79 businesses to the city attorney's office for misdemeanor consideration, but officials said the majority of businesses that receive warnings ultimately comply.

Feuer said the city has also been cracking down on reports of price gouging, which he defined as having a seller charge at least 10% more than what an item would have cost the day before an emergency.

As examples, Feuer said Amazon reported the identities of third-party sellers for the following:

  • A package of 10 protective masks that sold for $39.99 before the emergency and $269.99 after the emergency was declared
  • Hand sanitizer, which in bulk sold for $129 before the emergency, and after was sold for $249

Feuer said his office was also going after false and misleading claims about coronavirus, including sales of unapproved at-home test kits.
And city inspectors have visited more than 12,000 construction sites, issuing correction notices to 61 that were not in compliance with city orders, though none have been required to shut down so far.

Some other announcements from Garcetti tonight:

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  • Testing is now open to anyone with symptoms on the same day or next day — previously priority was given to older patients or those with underlying conditions, but capacity has increased enough to handle the volume
  • Loosened parking restrictions will now last through May 15 — that means no tickets for street sweeping, expired licenses and the like. You can find more info on the rules here.
  • Metro will run a modified Sunday schedule seven days a week, mirroring a regular Sunday with some additional rapid express and local buses to increase capacity
  • 56,000 people applied for Angeleno cards for cash assistance in the first day of sign-ups, flooding phone lines and causing a jam. The mayor said the city has tripled its phone services and that if they receive more applications than cards available, they will be divvied up by an impartial lottery, so even if you don't get through until the last minute, you have the same chance as someone who applied on the first day. To apply, you can visit hcidla.lacity.org or call 213-252-3040 until 4:30pm Thursday.

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