ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- The owners of a controversial gun shop in Arlington are suing a handful of critics for what they say amounts to defamation and libel.
NoVa Armory says the actions of 64 people amount to more than $2 million dollars’ worth of damages.
"They're trying to put him out of business. They've been doing unlawful things in an attempt to do that," said Daniel L. Hawes, attorney for NoVa Armory.
Hawes represents Broadstone Security LLC - the company that owns the specialty gun store on Pershing Drive.
The store is unassuming. It's was closed Monday, but since opening the doors a month ago, a cloud of controversy has hovered above.
Now it's getting attention for a lawsuit where NoVa Armory accuses 64 people of conspiracy, libel, stalking, and intimidation - all in an effort to "destroy [the] business."
One of the 64 is Virginia Delegate Mark Levine.
"It's frivolous! I think I have an absolute first amendment right to comment any way I want to and to represent my constituents in the way that they want to be represented," Levine said.
The suit claims he and six other members of the General Assembly broke the law when they sent a letter to NoVa Armory's landlord, asking them to cancel the lease.
"That's considered malfeasance in office which is a common law crime," Hawes said. "This has absolutely nothing to do with their legislative abilities, but they sent it on official Commonwealth of Virginia letterhead underneath the seal."
"I send letters on official letterhead all the time representing my constituents --- (CUT) whether it's government officials or private companies. If we had, for example, someone pollute the Potomac River I might sign a letter on official letterhead saying 'Hey don't pollute the Potomac River.'"
Ultimately - he says the lawsuit doesn't hold water.
"I certainly didn't break the law."
The matter probably isn't going to be resolved anytime soon. The attorney for NoVa Armory tells WUSA9 they're still trying to get addresses for all of the people listed in the suit.
The lawsuit also claims the store manager’s 16-year-old daughter received death threats after the store opened and had to change her cell phone number.