By Matt Mulcahy Wednesday, April 1st 2020
OAKDALE, N.Y. — Two men looking to purchase guns to defend their homes are suing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over his executive order that declares which businesses are essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Firearms company Dark Storm Industries is also a party in the lawsuit making the complaint to Federal Court stating they can no longer sell weapons or ammunition to ordinary citizens in New York.
Both Brian Doherty and Kevin Schmucker reside in Suffolk County. They each began transactions to purchase long guns before the Governor issued an Executive Order mandating which businesses would be declared essential services during the pandemic. Gun retailers were excluded from being declared essential. Dark Storm Industries applied for an exception.
They received a response from New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation that said: “your business has been designated as essential solely with respect to work directly related to police and/or national defense matters are exempt from the current restriction.” Dark Storm sought further clarification. According to its legal claim, they replied to the ESD in an email asking, “So to be clear we may continue to conduct business with law enforcement and military but not civilians?” ESD responded, “Yes that is correct as advised by counsel.”
On its website, Dark Storm cites unprecedented demand during this time. They say they are sold out of rifles, shotguns, and ammunition. They also state they are closed to the public but are able to service police, military, and security.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare this Executive Order as unconstitutional. They are asking for an injunction to allow them to remain in business.
New York State has not yet responded to the suit filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of New York. A court date has been set for June.