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New York Attorney General Letitia James said the state will aggressively defend itself against a National Rifle Association lawsuit against the state over its decision to deem gun retailers nonessential.
The Fairfax, Virginia-based gun rights advocacy group filed suit in the Syracuse-based U.S. District Court for the northern district of New York on Thursday in National Rifle Association of America v. Andrew Cuomo et al. Thursday.
Ms. James said in a statement, “Everyone — including the NRA — must follow the law and all executive orders of New York. We will aggressively defend the state against yet another legal assault by the NRA.” The statement was based on reports at the time the NRA planned to file the litigation.
The lawsuit states it “redresses a pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens and residents.” It said, “As a result of the government’s overreach, most New Yorkers have no legal way to exercise the constitutional right to purchase arms or ammunition.”
The lawsuit cites Pennsylvania, Texas and New Jersey as states where gun stores have been permitted to remain open or reopen, and states that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security includes gun retailers on a list as part of the critical infrastructure.
NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in a statement, “There isn’t a single person who has ever used a gun for self-defense who would consider it nonessential.”
The NRA, along with other plaintiffs, has already filed lawsuits over the same issue in California. Janyce Altman et al. v. County of Santa Clara, California et al. was filed in Oakland Tuesday, and Adam Brandy et al. vs. Alex Villanueva et al. was filed in Los Angeles March 27.
In February, the NRA sought to halt a New York regulatory enforcement action for its alleged unlicensed sale of insurance, asserting it was singled out for political reasons.
The California Insurance Department said Wednesday the National Rifle Association has agreed to stop soliciting insurance without a license.