A federal judge dismissed a recent legal challenge to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s declaration of firearms stores as “non-essential” businesses during the COVID-pandemic on July 8.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote in his decision that “[the Cuomo Administration] made a policy decision about which businesses qualified as ‘essential’ and which did not. In the face of a global pandemic, the court is loath to second-guess those policy decisions.”
Further in his decision, Kahn wrote, “Having found that the burden of plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights is insubstantial, the court has no need to apply any form of heightened scrutiny to the executive orders.”
We know, however, that during trying and tumultuous times, the right to keep and bear arms is even more essential than during times of ease and relative calm. This is the very reason that millions of Americans are becoming gun owners for the first time this year; in fact, just last month, the number of background checks called into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was the largest of any month in the history of the database. It’s clear that more and more Americans are realizing just how invaluable their rights are.
In March, the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security issued official guidelines for industry closuresthat included gun stores and shooting ranges as essential businesses. This means that, if your local firearms store, shooting range or gun manufacturer is closed, it isn’t because of the federal government. Rather, it is because of anti-Second Amendment politicians like Gov. Cuomo.
For updates on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your Second Amendment rights throughout the country, visit nraila.org/coronavirus for updates.