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Jackson County Backtracks After Telling Bass Pro Shops To Close

Chris Haxel
KCUR 89.3
The Bass Pro Shops store in Independence remained open today.

One day after the Jackson County Health Department told Bass Pro Shops to close its Independence store because it is a nonessential business, officials now say "the situation has changed."

Kayla Parker, a spokeswoman for the health department, said in an email Tuesday that officials are now "working with" Bass Pro Shops. She did not provide further information.

The store remained open Tuesday, with workers limiting customers inside the building to 50 at a time. There was no line outside the store. Inside, employees seemed to outnumber customers. 

In a statement, Bass Pro Shops said it is "currently having helpful conversations" with county officials. 

The company's store in Olathe, and its Cabela's outlet in Kansas City, Kansas, also remain open. Gun shops in Kansas are considered "essential" businesses under the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Laura Kelly.

However, the flagship Bass Pro Shops location in Springfield, Missouri, is closed.

That store initially shut down all departments except for firearms after a local stay-at-home order was issued, according to the Springfield News-Leader. But a day later, the company chose to close the store entirely, the newspaper reported.

A Missouri law prevents state or local governments from prohibiting or restricting the sale of firearms or ammunition during an emergency.

On Monday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said officials sent letters to about 200 Kansas City businesses that are not in compliance with the stay-at-home order issued by the mayor on March 24. 

Chris Haxel is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email him at chaxel@kcur.org, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisHaxel.

As a reporter covering military and veterans’ affairs, I tell the stories of current and former service members and their families. I hold the government, elected officials and others responsible when they break their promises. And I explore how Americans can best uphold our commitments to those who serve.
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