Republican state Sen. Robert Ortt in a letter this week to Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged him to open gun and sportsmen stores in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Keeping them closed, Ortt argued in the letter, deprives New Yorkers of their Second Amendment rights. He pointed to neighboring Pennsylvania, which has allowed gun stores to operate on a limited hours basis.
"While taking proper public health precautions is necessary and appropriate, the Constitution is not nullified in the face of a pandemic, and the Second Amendment’s value still remains," Ortt wrote in the letter. "New Yorkers still deserve the right to protect themselves, and allowing gun shops to operate would help New Yorkers exercise that right."
Non-essential workers have been ordered to stay home in New York and businesses that do not fall under the category have closed their physical locations.
Food stores, pharmacies and health care centers can remain open.
This is the first full week of the New York "pause" to prevent the spread of the virus.