New York Judge Dismisses NRA’s Lawsuit Against Gov. Cuomo’s Order Closing Gun Stores

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed many gun stores because he deemed them “non-essential.” (Photo: Zack Seward)

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.

SEE ALSO: BREAKING: New York Attorney General Files Suit Seeking to Dissolve the NRA

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!”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Mike August 29, 2020, 2:59 pm

    These Dems or any politician should be held accountable and face consequences if they dont up hold to the bill of rights and the constitution they swore oath to!!

  • Reticent Rogue August 25, 2020, 11:24 am

    Making such a distinction for the purpose of creating an exception constitutes and infringement. The Second Amendment does not allow any exceptions because it does not provide any. Every gun law passed since 1934, including the 1934 Firearms Act is unconstitutional for that very reason. If we can interpret laws any way we want, there are a few I’d like to re-interpret.

  • Hight Charles August 24, 2020, 8:24 pm

    But a damn liquor store is essential!! Only the Democratic’s can rationalize this. We are in deep deep trouble if the Democrats take over the Presidency.

  • Kane August 22, 2020, 10:43 am

    Everyone should feel confident with the Judicial system the NY since the Jeffrey Epstein case was handled so well for so many years. Luckily the Clintons were never persecuted for their generous charities and hopefully Andrew Cuomo will never be charged with baseless allegations that he somehow mishandled the nursing homes with a USN Hospital ship sitting empty in the NY harbor. All is good.

  • John August 21, 2020, 6:44 pm

    Asshole, Cuomo
    !!!!!!!!!!!

  • ditpook August 21, 2020, 3:44 pm

    1. Instead of sending monthly membership renewal notices to us, the NRA should have been weaponzing its own resources by taking half of all executives salaries to pay for undercover work to expose arrest and imprison or at least throw out of office the politicians and judges that have failed to follow the constitution. Lapierre is a gas-bag. Get off your pompous arse and make it so these people head for canada rather than engage you. Now that, I would donate $1,000 to see.
    2. Trump needs an executive order to disbar standing judes at supreme court or federal levels on the grounds they violated the constitution. Some of these clowns need prison. Sullivan needs GITMO for his abuse of his robe.

  • Gary Holland August 21, 2020, 3:10 pm

    We voluntarily suspended our constitutional rights when we accepted a social security number. At that moment, we unknowingly became an asset of the united States federal corporation. You can reclaim your sovereignty and constitutional protections. Learn how. This is not a sales pitch. I’m just an individual who is learning how to do it, too.

  • E T Gwynn August 21, 2020, 2:47 pm

    Essential my aching backside. What about the Constitutionality of it all? Evev as NY judge cannot get past that.

    Regardless of what Coomo (courtesy of the reverennnnd jacksonnn) might say.

  • db August 21, 2020, 1:53 pm

    The President does not have the authority to close down the country for any purpose. The states’ governors have the authority to close down their state but it must be done for the entire state and only by declaring marshal law. No one has the authority to select what stores can stay open and which can’t. Remember, authority and power are 2 different things. Everything taking place since corona con has been illegal/unconstitutional including the multi trillion dollar bill that was “passed.” The constitution has been shredded piece by piece as the country was dragged into socialism starting in the early 1900s. Now we will be dragged into communism under the guise of the biggest heist in world history. The 1% don’t want their piece of the pie to get cut at all. They will buy up all the buildings and homes in these cities for 10 cents on the dollar, pass an infrastructure bill for 5 trillion and have the tax payer pay for rebuilding their newly owned properties as they rake in billions from a bullshit, worthless “vaccine” that will cost $3000-$5000 per shot so King Fauci who owns half the patent can may his coin and Washington DC can get their vig from the drug companies. The Republic has been lost. As always, they will start a new war by 2030 blaming some one else as they cover their corrupt asses. Prepare for an economic collapse never before seen that will make the “depression” look like a party. Bill Gates is the Anti-Christ-don’t take the mark of the beast. Keep your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God Bless Us!

  • Erwin Lang August 21, 2020, 12:47 pm

    Only the voters in New York can change this. They should realize that if their home is ever invaded neither the mayor or the governor will be there to protect them. And police often have long response times.

  • Loren Watts August 21, 2020, 11:12 am

    The judge is probably a cousin of Mayor tyrant Cuomo

  • Abby Normal August 21, 2020, 10:10 am

    New York doesn’t recognize the US Constitution. You have No 2A rights there. Just build a reciprocity map to see that. You can’t even carry a firearm across the state to get to any other border state. Even though that is federal law that you can, NY will arrest and confiscate.

    • FirstStateMark August 21, 2020, 11:49 am

      “New York doesn’t recognize the US Constitution”,,,,, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Ted August 21, 2020, 4:34 pm

      NY STATE Civil rights, bill of rights, ARTICLE 2, Section 4 :

      S 4. Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated militia being
      necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to
      keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.

      It is there, just that none of the politicians listen to it !

  • Nick August 21, 2020, 9:31 am

    I wonder how long it will be before those in the pro-2nd community take the effort to comprehend that the NRA has led America down the wrong path on the fight to protect our rights?
    In my home State, I wrote to the last 2 governors to request a position in the constitutionally required militia. I did so under State statutes. I did it to form a base for a petition, and hoped that I would be able to garner some support so that I could file a suit that the courts could not ignore.
    In U.S. v Miller, Justice McReynolds lays out the core and purpose of the 2nd as the Constitution commands. The States are required to maintain a militia that consists of all able-bodied men, and those men are to be ready “to execute the Laws of the Union…”, they are to provide their own weapons, and also provide their own ammunition. How will Militia adhere to the commands of the Constitution if it can not purchase “weapons of war”, and feed those weapons with ammunition if those who are active in the militia are unable to acquire the implements required in the statutes?
    U.S. v Miller tells us the core and purpose of the 2nd, but the community will not even consider taking the road that the Supreme Court has already told us is the law of the land. Why? What makes the so-called pro-2nd community any different from the anti-gun groups and politicians who violate the law?

    • Ted August 21, 2020, 4:40 pm

      Basically, Miller was struck down because the specific weapon in question, a sawed off shotgun, was not considered to be a weapon that would be used “for the common defense ” of the US. SO, what if the weapon had been a tommy gun , like the US military had in the arsenals ?

      In Miller, we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen’s right to possess a sawed off shotgun because that weapon had not been shown to be “ordinary military equipment” that could “contribute to the common defense”.

  • Richard Manfredi August 21, 2020, 9:22 am

    She is another leftwing crackpot judge shoving her own opinion down everyone else’s throat.

  • Richard Burgess August 21, 2020, 8:13 am

    Typical bs for NYC or any Democratic majority city.

  • vinnie August 21, 2020, 7:35 am

    Wait till this “Left Wing liberal judge ” gets a visit from the Left Wing Activists “Antifa” and maybe then she will have a Different “View” about “People’s Rights” If Walmart can be open , why can’t Gun stores be Open ?
    Another judge Legislating from the “Bench” Doing things the “Democrat Way”

  • Ronald August 21, 2020, 6:25 am

    We are adding the judge to the list. Known addresses etc of this felonious phony and others of her ilk should ALWAYS be posted whenever possible. It’s fairly obvious the time to purge America of these scum is upon us . The time is decades past in reality. They have a been allowed to skirt the Constitution and other founding principles to make no less than a criminal enterprise of what was once our legal system. For starters. Physical removal and deadly force if needed is the only solution. They have been a driving force in the miseducation of the very generations of “Americans” now either weakened to the subhumans we see beating their chests in the streets over nonissues or those accepting of whatever fate awaits as long as the electricity is on and they have toilet paper.
    Those that have been sucked in by the false/fabricated necessity of their verbose villainy and continuous layers of liturdgeous conversations we need not have any more of.

    • bob August 21, 2020, 10:53 am

      Great comment. I agree the time is well past to deal with these America/Constitution hating people.

  • Tommy Rhea August 21, 2020, 5:44 am

    Move the NRA home office out of NY, a hostile city, to friendlier ground, like Texas.

    • allblues August 21, 2020, 10:30 am

      The NRA is headquartered in Virginia. Unfortunately it was originally chartered in New York.

  • GW August 21, 2020, 3:14 am

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Lapierre winds up doing time. The dude is crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

    • Richard Msnfredi August 21, 2020, 9:15 am

      So Tommy, are you about 25 , and NIB( new in box). Wayne laPierre has been the BATTLE FIELD CHAMPION FOR us AND THE NRA FOR THE LAST FIFTY YEARS. Sometimes he was not given support, as when he described the WACO FBI- BATF( ( now BATFE) perpetrators as JACK BOOTED THUGS. RUBY RIDGE,then WACO, FOLLOWED BY 911, AND NOW STEELE DOSSIER CRAPOLA. That is what happens when you don’t clean house. When you have been around longer , you will not make such an outstandingly stupid statement about Wayne LaPierre.
      Here is this one NRA member’s opinion . DON’T KNOW ,DON’T CARE – what are the charges. The NYC papers said expensive: meals, hotels, airfares, blah, blah. Suppose it was all true -SO WHAT ! When Wayne has to appear as our representative , he should be well fed , well rested , well dressed and any other well you can think of. I don’t begrudge it one bit.
      Here is something for you. Get a campaign contribution coin from the republicans, then get a contribution coin from the NRA . In comparison , one looks and feels like junk. The republicans s/h consulted with the NRA. It would also be good if their new (and old) members sat through a firearms safety course . Some are as abysmally ignorant as democrats , and cannot do well in debate due to lack of knowledge.

    • bob August 21, 2020, 10:59 am

      Join Gun Owners Of America. There a much better organization than the N.R.A.. G.O.A. actually DOES fight for our 2nd Amendment Right. The N.R.A. is everyone’s default organization, but it shouldn’t be. It’s just easier to default to the N.R.A., rather than doing the homework and seeing who spends their funds more wisely. The N.R.A. wants to “cross the aisle” to much for me.

      • db August 21, 2020, 1:58 pm

        If the Constitution meant anything to the traitors and communists, there would never be a need for any of these organizations.

    • Kane August 21, 2020, 9:56 pm

      GW, can you list any criminal charges brought against LaPierre? Take you time and back up you considered opinions.

      Or maybe you are a fraudster.

  • BUURGA August 21, 2020, 2:58 am

    Another Left-wing, New York judge setup.

  • Dr Motown August 20, 2020, 8:36 am

    How could a guns rights organization “lack standing” to represent its members on a guns rights case?

    • RGordon August 21, 2020, 5:32 am

      Because the NRA’s rights were not infringed and only those of the individual members were. It would have been better to include individuals in NY as plaintiffs.

      • Bernie C August 21, 2020, 8:54 am

        Agreed. Standing is basic requirement.
        If the government is “allowed” to close gun stores for a pandemic, for what else can they order those doors to be shuttered? Riots? Disaster? Floods? Mass power outages?
        The gun store owners MUST be part of any lawsuit and may have to consider refusing unconstitutional demands of government. If troopers even “show up” to enforce closure, there will easily be visible prime evidence of illegality by government. Those troopers won’t even want to be in the dilemma of enforcing unconstitutional orders. They are residents of those towns too..
        Decent people need to stand up every once in awhile and say “No, not doing that” .
        There has never been more convincing evidence that the 2nd Amendment is more relevant than ever before. When governments refuse to do their primary job, protecting their residents and providing security to live the American dream, residents must be prepared to protect themselves.
        The couple in St Louis did just that, they were prosecuted by a rogue DA and they will later prevail in a court of law, even if it has to go all the way to SCOTUS.

    • The SGM August 21, 2020, 6:50 am

      It is easy when you are a leftist Judge ruling in a case against a leftist State,

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