The NRA said it suffered tens of millions of dollars in damages as a result of NY’s campaign to dissuade banks and insurance companies from doing business with them…
The powerful gun-rights group claims it’s facing financial ruin because of a full-frontal assault from the Cuomo administration.
In a recent court filing, the NRA said it suffered tens of millions of dollars in damages as a result of the state’s campaign to dissuade banks and insurance companies from doing business with the gun-loving group.
Cuomo and his state regulators “seek to silence one of America’s oldest constitutional-rights advocates,” the National Rifle Association said in the July 20 court filing. “If their abuses are not enjoined, they will soon, substantially, succeed.”
The governor fired back after the court papers came to light Friday.
“If I could have put the NRA out of business, I would have done it 20 years ago,” he said.
The state is preparing to file a motion to dismiss the suit, he added.
“New York will not be intimidated by the NRA’s frivolous lawsuit to advance its dangerous gun-peddling agenda,” Cuomo said. “Donald Trump and Washington, D.C., may be bought and paid for by the NRA, but in New York, we are listening to the voices of people across the nation calling for action to keep our communities safe.”
The fierce back-and-forth marks the latest maneuvering in a case brought by the NRA in May.
The firearm lobbyists took aim at Cuomo and the state Department of Financial Services, claiming the effort to persuade businesses to abandon the group violated its First Amendment rights.
The NRA filed suit a month after Maria Vullo, the state’s top financial-services regulator, sent a letter to banks and insurers following the Feb.14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.
The letter warned of the “reputational risk” of doing business with the NRA and gun industry.
In the new filing, first reported by Rolling Stone magazine, the group says the pressure from the state has produced immediate results.
“As a direct result of this coercion, multiple financial institutions have succumbed to defendants’ demands and entered into consent orders with (state regulators) that compel them to terminate long-standing, beneficial business relationships with the NRA, both in New York and elsewhere,” the NRA claims.
The filing does not give specifics on the NRA’s financials. But in its latest disclosure form, from 2016, the group reported that it was nearly $46 million in the red.
The NRA claims it has recently struggled to secure corporate insurance coverage, leading to the possibility that it will have to close its TV station and various print publications and magazines.
The group added that it had withstood boycotts in the past. But it claims it’s now facing financial doom because the latest revolt is being led by a government entity.
“Unaided by the brute force of state power, activists never successfully persuaded the NRA’s banking or insurance partners to sever ties with the NRA,” it wrote in court papers.
“This changed in 2017… Defendants specifically intend to undermine the NRA’s ability to conduct its affairs in New York — and to advance Cuomo’s anti-NRA political agenda,” the papers allege.
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