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NRA sues New York over gun store closures amid coronavirus outbreak

NRA sues New York over gun store closures amid coronavirus outbreak
© Greg Nash

The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Thursday sued New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Broadway to fully reopen in September Mets, Yankees to open vaccination sites to fans before games MORE (D) for deeming gun shops nonessential, forcing them to close during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cuomo made the designation on March 20, labeling only grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and restaurants that do takeout as essential, ordering all other businesses to close amid the pandemic.

New York has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., with more than 92,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,600 deaths, according to The New York Times.

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The complaint calls Cuomo's decision a "pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens and residents," adding that the governor, "indefinitely suspended a key component of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution."

The powerful pro-gun group's suit follows a similar suit that they filed against California last week after Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomSan Francisco lawmakers vote to make home of city's first legally married same-sex partners a landmark Woman charged with starting fire that burned 63,000 acres in California Caitlyn Jenner tells Hannity friends are fleeing California because of homeless people MORE (D) 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.

Many states around the country have forced businesses deemed nonessential to close as they implement stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of COVID-19.