Landry joins pro-NRA legal action
Published 8:47 am Thursday, December 24, 2020
Attorney General Jeff Landry has added Louisiana to a coalition of 16 states that have filed an amicus brief supporting the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The NRA’s lawsuit seeks to block James’s politically motivated attempt in a separate lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, which is the country’s oldest civil rights organization and leading Second Amendment advocacy organization.
“The New York Attorney General’s actions threaten the civil rights of 5 million NRA members — including citizens of Louisiana,” Landry said. “I am proud to fight back against this partisan attack on the First and 14th Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens who respect the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
In August, James filed a lawsuit in New York state court seeking to dissolve the NRA. Separately, the District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine filed an action against the non-profit organization NRA Foundation; but the DC lawsuit tellingly did not seek dissolution.
Subsequently, the NRA responded by suing James in New York federal court — claiming that her dissolution lawsuit violated the First Amendment by seeking to punish the NRA for its constitutionally protected Second Amendment advocacy.
The amicus brief filed by Landry and his colleagues supports the NRA’s federal-court lawsuit. Landry and the other 15 state attorneys general argue that James sought dissolution because she does not like the NRA’s political advocacy, its members’ political views, and the organization’s defense of a fundamental constitutional right.
The brief argues that New York’s lawsuit violates the First Amendment because it was designed to retaliate against the NRA and its members for these constitutionally protected activities.
The brief makes clear that state regulations of non-profits and charitable organizations are essential to protecting the public. But it also criticizes New York’s politically motivated enforcement of its regulations. Such regulations should never be used to attack a government official’s political opponents.
Louisiana is joined in the amicus brief by Arkansas, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.