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California city says sporting goods retailers are 'essential'

Published March 27, 2020

FRESNO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Reasoning that sporting goods stores sell emergency supplies, the city of Fresno has allowed the stores to reopen as essential businesses under a statewide shelter in place order. That raises the question if all sporting goods retailers should be allowed to open in areas with similar orders.

The city said many sporting goods retailers sell food, water and ice — in addition to supplies like propane, cooking equipment, and food storage. This order does not apply to national retailers REI Co-op and Dick's Sporting Goods, both of which will remain temporarily closed even in areas where there are not currently orders for non-essential businesses to close. Dick's does offer contactless curbside pickup.

"We're very pleased that these businesses are now able to reopen and serve the community," Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld told "We're also thrilled that many of our citizens will be able to return to work. We encourage businesses to utilize the CDC guidelines in order to keep their customers and staff safe."

The city also said sporting goods retailers who carry guns and ammunition will be allowed to sell them. It's not clear whether the stores are allowed to sell other items, such as recreational sports equipment. City officials did not immediately respond to questions from BRAIN on Friday.

On March 19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a shelter-in-place order, shutting down non-essential services that included sporting goods stores. The city order allows residents to purchase essential items, visit the doctor or pharmacy, and travel to work if the profession is considered essential.

More state and local officials are declaring bike shops essential; however, several jurisdictions have reversed course in what is a constantly changing landscape across the country.

Topics associated with this article: Coronavirus

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