Castro Valley Gun Shop Closes After Warning from Sheriff

Alameda County Sheriff's Office has a team of deputies stopping by non-essential businesses still open during the statewide stay-at-home order.

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A gun shop in Castro Valley that was defying the stay-at-home order shuttered its doors to customers Friday after the Alameda County Sheriff's Office warned the owner that he would be cited if he kept his business open.

It turns out the gun shop is not the only non-essential store in the East Bay going about business as usual.

An Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said their phones have been ringing off the hook with people calling in to complain about non-essential businesses that are still opening its doors to customers.

Shops like nail salons, hair salons, and until Friday morning, a gun shop in Castro Valley that is now closed.

On Thursday, it was Tesla's factory in Fremont. On Friday, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office took on Solar Tactical, which had refused to close its shop to customers.

"A gun store is an essential business because it's a second amendment right," said Mike Addis, Solar Tactical owner.

Addis said he's seen a spike in gun and ammo sales ever since the the stay-in-home order went into effect. He said a shipment of boxes packed with ammo arrived this week sold out in a couple of hours.

"They're concerned about looting.They're concerned about their safety in the house. That's what's driving all of this -- first-time buyers concerned about their safety," Addis said.

Joshua Boothby of Castro Valley was about to pick up a Glock from Solar Tactical that he purchased for $700. Now he will have to wait until the stay-at-home order is lifted.

"Especially in a crisis like this, this is something that every citizen that isn't a felon and doesn't have a criminal record should have the God honest right to do," Boothby said.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office has created a team of deputies who stop by stores in the county that should not be open. Sgt. Ray Kelly said the businesses are typically family-owned small businesses, including some hair and nail salons, whose owners do not realize they are breaking the law.

"They absolutely have been totally cooperative and they've closed," Kelly said. "They just needed some education on what's going on."

In Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaaf said police officers are doing the same. Schaaf said the Oakland Police Department is issuing informative warnings, not citations. But that could change if businesses continue to defy the order, the mayor said.

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