NRA's lawsuit claims over closed gun stores are moot, 2nd Circuit rules
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A federal appeals court has ruled that the National Rifle Association can’t obtain an injunction or damages for its members in a lawsuit over the closing of New York gun stores during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York ruled that the NRA’s request for an injunction and declaratory relief was moot because then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York rescinded the closing order, and the state legislature curbed his powers to reissue restrictions.
The appeals court also said the NRA didn’t have standing to pursue a claim on behalf of its members because the group failed to assert its own separate injuries.
Nor could the group pursue a claim for nominal damages on its own behalf in a proposed second amended complaint because of 11th Amendment sovereign immunity for state officials who were sued in their official capacities, the appeals court said.
At oral argument, the NRA’s lawyer asked the appeals court for a remand, so it could sue state officials in their individual and official capacities. The appeals court said the lawyer was raising the argument for the first time, and the court was declining to consider it.
The NRA had alleged violations of the Second, Fifth and 14th Amendments.