A U.S. district judge in New York has thrown out a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association alleging that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s March 20 executive order violated its members’ constitutional rights by closing gun stores categorized as “non-essential.”
U.S. District Judge Mae D’Agostino did not rule on the merits of Cuomo’s order—only that the NRA lacked standing to bring the lawsuit on behalf of its members.
The judge also refused to allow the NRA to amend its complaint, arguing that it would be futile because she could find no evidence that the NRA’s day-to-day advocacy for its members had been impaired by Cuomo’s order, according to Reuters.
William Brewer, the New York attorney the NRA brought in to handle its recent legal troubles, sounded an optimistic note in a statement to Reuters.
“Although we respectfully disagree that the NRA lacked standing to pursue this case — then or now — we were pleased the action brought attention to an abuse of power against gun retailers,” he said.
Gun stores in New York have begun to slowly reopen as coronavirus restrictions lift, but some still remain closed or open by appointment only, especially in New York City.
SEE ALSO: LaPierre Makes Appeal to NRA Members Following Lawsuit to Dissolve Organization: ‘If we lose this fight we lose everything’
The NRA has had its hands full with high-profile lawsuits in the last few weeks.
The NRA helped secure a major win for gun owners when the NRA-backed California Rifle and Pistol Association won a case in front of a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court. The court ruled that California’s magazine capacity restriction is unconstitutional, and the case could have far-reaching impacts for similar restrictions in other states.
But the NRA is also embroiled in a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. James accuses NRA’s leadership, specifically Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, of mismanaging donor money and creating a “culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight at the NRA that was illegal, oppressive, and fraudulent.”
The suit seeks to dissolve the NRA as a nonprofit in New York and force LaPierre and three other current and former executives to pay back the money they allegedly mismanaged.
The NRA responded with a countersuit alleging that James’ suit is unconstitutional and politically motivated.
LaPierre also responded in a letter to NRA members on Tuesday accusing “left-wing politicians” of “cynically weaponiz[ing] their legal and regulatory powers.”
LaPierre claims there is “an avalanche of evidence regarding the financial stability of our Association, years of clean audits by independent CPAs, and commitment to good governance.”
“In New York and beyond, the NRA will keep fighting. We will always represent you – and the freedoms in which you believe,” he concludes. “To Letitia James and the other government officials who seek to dismantle the NRA, we say this: We’re ready for the fight. Bring it on!”