A federal court on Wednesday upheld New York's decision to close gun stores during the coronavirus shutdown, with the court finding the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers were not violated as a result.
The case stemmed from a legal challenge made by a Long Island-based firearms dealer, Dark Storm Industries, which had challenged New York's shutdown order made in March. Health officials kept a limited number of businesses open deemed essential —such as health care and food distribution — as most other businesses and entities were ordered to close.
The gun store claimed the move violated the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers during the pandemic. But U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn wrote in his ruling New Yorkers could still purchase firearms from other retailers and "the evidence in the record indicates that, even during the height of the lockdown, New Yorkers continued to enjoy access to numerous retailers where they could purchase firearms."
At the same time, the contention the executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to close businesses was "spread too broadly" was rejected by Kahn.
The store "failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the Executive Orders are invalid under intermediate scrutiny," Kahn found.
New York gradually started to reopen businesses in the last several months, with most of the state now on the fourth phase of the reopening.
“We’ve lost track of the frivolous lawsuits filed against us during this pandemic," said Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi.