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Riding Shotgun With Charlie

Apr 14, 2020

Riding Shotgun With Charlie


John Costa

The Gunrunner LLC


When I called John Costa, owner of The Gunrunner LLC,  was on the phone with Glenn Beck. I read this story the day before about his gun store. I left my number and a couple hours later, we set up the time for an interview the next day. 


During the breakout of COVID-19, many businesses and stores in Massachusetts were ordered to close. MA Governor Charlie Baker made a (vague) list of essential businesses.  President Trump eventually said that gun stores were essential businesses and should remain open. On March 31, Governor Baker included firearms retailers in the essential businesses.  Within hours, Governor Baker retracted firearms retailers on the list. Then Attorney General Maura Healey tweeted that gun stores were NOT essential and that gun owners were a danger to police officers, first responders, and domestic violence victims. The gun stores in Massachusetts would also not be on the list of businesses that could receive financial help from the government. Firearm instructors were also sent an email stating they were not approved to be teaching courses in person or virtually until at least May 4, 2020. 


The Gunrunner in Middleboro, MA, a small business since 1986, decided to stay open to sell guns and ammunition to those who needed a firearm to protect their families and loved ones. 


The owner, John Costa, came to the United States when he was 2 from the Azores. He learned to speak English when he started school.  His mother struggled to earn enough money to get her husband and young John to bring them to America. John served this country during the VietNam War. 


Like other businesses, The Gunrunner has struggled through challenging times and done well in good times. But this government overreach, telling small businesses, who can remain open and be essential and which businesses are not essential and must close, was too much for The Gunrunner. 


We spent a lot of time talking about how things have changed and quickly! Mr. Costa is very worked up about how this socialism is taking over the country and how easy it has been for us to give up our Rights, when this is what he and many others fought to stop around the world. 


The Gunrunner had the Board of Health show up at the store with a cease and desist order and Mr. Costa took the order and threw it on the floor. 


Currently, The Gunrunner is selling firearms and ammunition and will continue to do so. He’s been reaching out to suppliers and other stores and driving up to 4 hours roundtrip to get supplies to sell. 

Favorite quotes:

“No I am not closing my shop. No I am not going to stop selling firearms. I am going to protect us, the citizens, from the tyranny of these socialists.”

“I, myself, call it bully shootings. Because that’s what I think it was.”

“Why in the hell is she (Maura Healey) letting the prisoners loose? A crook is a crook always. They don’t change.”

“Stopping the gun classes has nothing to do with the virus. This is all about gun confiscation.”

“I don’t want to start a riot.  I don’t want to do any of that. But I want you people to wake up! See what’s going on!”

John Costa on The Blaze with Glenn Beck


The Gunrunner LLC Website


The Gunrunner LLC

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