‘These shameless partisans are recklessly promoting a gun-control agenda that suffocates your self-defense rights when you need them most…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) The National Rifle Association sued New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week for deeming gun shops “nonessential” and forcing them to close during the coronavirus outbreak.
As part of the statewide shutdown, Cuomo declared that only grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and restaurants that do takeout are essential businesses that can remain open.
This designation is a “pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens and residents,” the NRA said in its complaint, according to the New York Post.
Cuomo does not have the right to “indefinitely” suspend “a key component of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the group added.
The NRA also filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who issued a similar order.
“Municipalities who target lawful gun stores for closure aren’t promoting safety—by weaponizing their politics to disarm you and your loved ones, these shameless partisans are recklessly promoting a gun-control agenda that suffocates your self-defense rights when you need them most,” Jason Ouimet, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement at the time.
The Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory earlier this week urging state governors to allow firearms dealers to remain open. The ruling isn’t a mandate, but it is a guidance that government officials should at the very least consider, the department said.
Gun-control groups immediately slammed the advisory as a “threat to the public health.”
“The gun lobby is not willing to stand for a few days or a few weeks of less profit in order to protect public health, and it’s outrageous and definitely not required by the Second Amendment,” said Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel for the anti-gun advocacy group Brady.
“It’s a public health issue, not a Second Amendment issue,” Lowy claimed. “The fact is that guns, the nature of guns, require that they be sold with a lot of close interaction. They can’t be sold from vending machines, can’t be sold with curbside pickup.”
Gun sales and background checks have skyrocketed throughout the pandemic crisis. Background checks were up 300% on March 16, compared with the same date a year ago, according to federal data shared with the NSSF, which represents gunmakers. And multiple gun shops have reported long lines and runs on firearms and ammunition.