ATF warns East Coast gun dealers to prepare ahead of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence this morning as seen from Space Station. (Photo: Ricky Arnold/NASA)

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the East Coast this week, the federal government wants gun dealers to prepare.

The  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released an advisory Monday warning federally licensed dealers in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas to review safety plans ahead of the storm’s arrival later this week.

“While it is still too early to determine what other impacts Hurricane Florence may have, the National Hurricane Center also advises that those living in hurricane-prone areas, such as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place,” the ATF said.

Florence intensified from a category one to a category four storm overnight into Monday, according to NHC, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 140 mph. Forecasters predict Florence will make landfall on the southeastern Atlantic coast sometime Thursday, bringing with it life-threatening storm surge, rip currents and flooding.

“The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely dangerous hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity,” NHC officials told CNN on Monday.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered mandatory evacuations in eight counties effective Tuesday at noon, according to CNN.” This is a real hurricane we have coming,” he said. “We don’t want to risk one South Carolina life.”

Likewise, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam implemented mandatory evacuations for parts of the coastline beginning 8 a.m. Tuesday. “Everyone in Virginia needs to prepare,” he said. “This is a serious storm and it’s going to affect the entire state of Virginia.”

Florence could be only the fourth category four hurricane to impact the eastern seaboard north of Georgia, according to the Weather Channel.

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