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 Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Chris Christie Cuomo poster depicts Trump as 'man in the moon' watching coronavirus pandemic 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 NewsomThe fog of war Overnight Health Care: White House goes public with attacks on Fauci | Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations | Federal judges block abortion ban laws in Tennessee, Georgia Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations 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.