The National Rifle Association (NRA) received unanimous support from Republican state legislators across the United States in its lawsuit to dismantle what it calls “unlawful” emergency gun orders issued by governors in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The suit, which was filed in Kentucky last week, argues that governors have “unlawfully exercised their emergency powers to overrule the duly enacted laws of their legislatures” and that those law see “the right to keep and bear arms as fundamental and absolute.” In a statement announcing the suit, the NRA said that emergency orders have “infringed on law-abiding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms while doing nothing to stop criminals who are not affected by such orders.”
In the lawsuit, the NRA seeks to strike down any of the orders issued by governors that impose any type of restrictions on Second Amendment rights, such as bans on open carry, limits on purchasing firearms or ammunition, or prohibitions on carrying firearms in certain public places.
The legal challenge has been embraced by Republicans across the country, with several GOP-controlled state legislatures seeing it as an opportunity to roll back gun-control measures. Republican lawmakers in Florida have already filed a separate lawsuit, challenging their own governor’s emergency orders on gun sales and calling them “unconstitutional.” Other states are expected to follow suit, and the Washington, DC-based NRA has announced that it supports the “efforts to protect the rights of responsible gun owners.”