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The healthcare emergency posed by the Coronavirus, also known as “COVID-19,” has been declared a “national emergency” as well as “emergencies” by numerous governors and municipal officials. Some of these actions are limited and carefully crafted measures designed solely to protect society from a common threat. Others, however, such as those prohibiting exercise of Second Amendment rights, go far beyond reasonable and limited measures to address the public health crisis, and raise serious constitutional problems. As a champion of protecting individual liberty against abuse by governments, Liberty Guard will regularly be highlighting such abuses, so as to better inform the citizenry and hopefully aid in preventing or stopping such abuses.

Stories Impacting Your Liberty:

Coronavirus is proving some in the US like Soviet-style governance

We have entered a time when a Texas official is happy to call on her fellow citizens to indict those who may be doing nothing wrong. Quite extraordinary. What we’re seeing here is an admittedly less serious but still similar version of Soviet and Nazi-style snitch fetishism. CONTINUE READING

One of COVID-19’s unlisted side effects: An increase in police power

As governments across the globe expand mass surveillance programs in the name of public health, activist and whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that we are watching them build “the architecture of oppression.”  CONTINUE READING

Freedom Is a Pandemic Casualty in Authoritarian Regimes and Liberal Democracies

It will be months, at least, before we have a full accounting of pandemic casualties. For now, though, you can confidently add to that list a healthy measure of human freedom. Around the world, governments are taking advantage of the public health emergency to tighten the screws on their subjects CONTINUE READING

A Woman Set Up a Little Free Pantry Without a Permit. The County Threatened Criminal Charges.

It started with a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a desire to help the community. It ended with the government threatening criminal charges. CONTINUE READING

Pritzker: Stay-home lawsuit a ‘stunt,’ should be overturned

The statewide stay-at-home order aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus remains in place through May 30, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday, despite a southern Illinois judge’s ruling that the Democrat exceeded his authority with the executive decree. CONTINUE READING

The Dangers of COVID-19 Surveillance Proposals to the Future of Protest

Many of the new surveillance powers now sought by the government to address the COVID-19 crisis would harm our First Amendment rights for years to come. CONTINUE READING

Some Walmart, Costco, Target stores barred from selling nonessential items

Local governments around the US are starting to take more draconian measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus by banning “essential” stores such as grocery chains or big-box retailers from selling nonessential items such as clothing and electronics. CONTINUE READING

The Pandemic, and the Rise of Surveillance Programs Around the World

In an attempt to stem the tide of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 25 governments around the world have instituted temporary or indefinite efforts to single out infected individuals or maintain quarantines. Many of these efforts, in turn, undermine personal privacy. CONTINUE READING

Why Bigger Government Is A Worse Threat To Civil Liberties Than Lockdowns

Our ordinary lives are being upended at great cost by the extraordinary actions of local, state, and federal governments, desperate to control the spread of the novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China. Understandably, as businesses are padlocked by state order and our normal freedoms to move about and assemble are radically curtailed, many have raised the civil liberty alarm. They worry that in its haste to fend off the “invisible enemy,” government is chipping away at our fundamental rights. CONTINUE READING

To Track Virus, Governments Weigh Surveillance Tools That Push Privacy Limits

As the country scrambles to control the rapidly spreading coronavirus, government agencies are putting in place or considering a range of tracking and surveillance technologies that test the limits of personal privacy. CONTINUE READING

Fresno's Emergency Declaration allows halt to gun sales, alcohol sales, other broad powers

The City of Fresno has now declared a “state of emergency”, and doing so grants the city wide-ranging powers under its “Emergency Services Ordinance”. CONTINUE READING

Government Tracking How People Move Around in Coronavirus Pandemic

Government officials across the U.S. are using location data from millions of cellphones in a bid to better understand the movements of Americans during the coronavirus pandemic and how they may be affecting the spread of the disease. CONTINUE READING

NRA files lawsuit against California over 'targeting' of gun stores amid coronavirus lockdown

The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alexander Villanueva after the state’s order to close nonessential businesses has affected firearms retailers. CONTINUE READING

Department of Homeland Security names gun makers, retailers essential businesses nationwide

President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security released updated guidelines naming gun manufacturers and retailers as essential on Saturday, which means they are allowed to remain open and operational nationwide during the coronavirus shutdown, Breitbart reported. CONTINUE READING

Real ID Deadline Delayed Until Late 2021 Because of Coronavirus

The Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline for Real ID enforcement by 12 months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, postponing an already delayed government requirement for enhanced identification to board domestic flights. CONTINUE READING

Pastor arrested for violating rules amid virus outbreak

Florida officials have arrested the pastor of a megachurch after detectives say he held two Sunday services with hundreds of people and violated a safer-at-home order in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. CONTINUE READING

Murphy: New Jersey gun stores will be allowed to reopen

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that gun shops are now considered essential businesses and can remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. CONTINUE READING

LA County Sheriff Retracts Orders Closing Gun Stores

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva Monday retracted previous orders that would temporarily close gun stores in Los Angeles County during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONTINUE READING

Rights advocates worry that crisis has become an excuse to trample freedoms

As the US continues its scrambling response to the coronavirus outbreak, it has closed borders, quarantined some neighborhoods, and shut down businesses in a number of the most populous states. CONTINUE READING

A governor ordered the state police and National Guard to hunt for New Yorkers because of coronavirus fears. It’s a frightening sign of what’s to come during the pandemic.

On Saturday, military police of the National Guard – armed, camouflaged, and clad in flak-jackets – went door to door in Rhode Island where cars with New York license plates, or no plates at all, were parked. CONTINUE READING

Americans Favor Aggressive Coronavirus Measures, Poll Finds

A new survey finds widespread public support for aggressive measures like government cellphone tracking and mandatory health screenings in public places to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 180,000 Americans. CONTINUE READING

Coronavirus: Google Releases Location Data To Help Authorities Check Lock-downs

Location data is being released by Google in 131 countries so officials can see if people are obeying self-isolating rule. Alphabet’s Google division has on Thursday published data for 131 countries that shows whether people are obeying self-isolating and quarantine rules. CONTINUE READING

The FDA Is Making It Much, Much Harder for Distilleries To Produce Hand Sanitizer

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer has become an incredibly scarce resource. It's practically impossible to find any at a grocery or drug store, or to order it online. But in Washington, D.C., at least, anyone who wants a bottle can get one. All you have to do is buy a bottle of booze. CONTINUE READING

Enlisting tech to fight coronavirus sparks surveillance fears

The portable supercomputers people carry around in their pockets may hold the key to stemming the coronavirus pandemic, some public health experts say. CONTINUE READING

Puerto Rico imposes stricter COVID-19 measures amid lawsuit

The ACLU said Sunday it is seeking an injunction to block part of Puerto Rico’s strict curfew against the new coronavirus, arguing that some of its restrictions are unconstitutional as the governor imposed even tighter measures, including requiring anyone entering a business to wear a face mask. CONTINUE READING

‘Too Naive Or Too Stupid To Be CO’: Leaked Speech Transcript Shows Acting Navy Secretary Modly Trashing Fired Carrier Captain To Group Of Sailors

Acting Secretary to the Navy Thomas Modly flew to Guam Monday and delivered a fiery speech to the sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt after their captain was fired over a leaked letter pleading for those infected with coronavirus. CONTINUE READING

Three governors face lawsuits over closure of gun stores and ranges during coronavirus crisis

Three governors, all Democrats, are facing lawsuits over their orders to shutter gun ranges and gun stores in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. New York-based firearms manufacturer and retailer Dark Storm Industries filed a federal civil rights complaint on Monday in U.S. District Court seeking a temporary restraining order and an emergency injunction against New York state to end the state’s forced closure of firearms retailers. CONTINUE READING

MASKED THREAT California sheriff warns he can arrest and fine people $1,000 for not wearing masks in public

The mandate went into effect on Sunday after Riverside University Health System indicated 946 confirmed coronavirus cases in the county. CONTINUE READING

Coronavirus, Location Tracking, and Civil Liberties

To help combat the coronavirus pandemic,  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local governments are receiving analyses of people’s movements derived from anonymized cell phone location data held by the mobile advertising industry. CONTINUE READING

Kushner’s team seeks national coronavirus surveillance system

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s task force has reached out to a range of health technology companies about creating a national coronavirus surveillance system to give the government a near real-time view of where patients are seeking treatment and for what, and whether hospitals can accommodate them, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions. CONTINUE READING

To Enforce Social Distancing Rules, Cops Fined a Pennsylvania Woman Who Was Driving Alone

Anita Shaffer went for a drive around her neighborhood on Sunday and came home with a $200 fine for violating Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order that’s meant to contain the spread of COVID-19. CONTINUE READING

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