Hobby Lobby stores in Dallas forced to close after resisting coronavirus executive order

DALLAS (KTVT CNN) - Dallas County enforced an executive order Thursday requiring non-essential businesses to close.

Hobby Lobby stores in the Dallas area were closed despite the company's assertion they are essential businesses. (Source: KTVT/CNN)

It zeroed in on Hobby Lobby stores, where deputies delivering a warning directly, causing business at one Hobby Lobby to halt abruptly.

“The manager came on the intercom and immediately told everyone to stop shopping, put their items down, and to leave the store immediately,” said Libya van Buren, who walked away from a full shopping cart.

“Can I at least buy one thing? They were like, ‘Nope, cant buy anything. You have to leave,’” she said.

The sudden closing came minutes after Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins at a press conference called the business out by name.

“If you’re still at Hobby Lobby and you work at Hobby Lobby, you go ahead and lock up and leave as soon as possible,” the judge said.

Sheriffs deputies pulled up and posted the cease and desist letter at the door.

A Hobby Lobby in Garland was still open when deputies arrived there, handed the letter to the manager and watched to make sure it shut down.

Signs posted at the stores claim they are an essential business. The rationale, it explains, is it sells materials you can use to make your own masks as well as educational, office and small business supplies.

But Jenkins, who issued the county’s emergency order, says there’s no reason a craft store should be open.

“It’s a slap in the face to the businesses that are following this order that a few outliers are putting the community in danger,” the judge said.

This type of business can operating on an online platform, he said.

There were other non-essential businesses still open that the county contacted. Jenkins said they all agreed to shut down immediately.

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