New York Lawsuit Forces NRA To Issue Dire Public Warning


The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the U.S. Constitution — so why is a state government doing everything it can to harass a lawful group of American citizens?

That’s the basic question that the National Rifle Association is raising as part of a lawsuit against Democrat officials in New York.

Despite surging membership, the NRA is warning pro-Second Amendment citizens that it is facing a financial crisis and could “be unable to exist… or pursue its advocacy mission” unless something changes.

No, the problem isn’t a lack of funds. Instead, the gun rights group is suing key officials in New York for unfairly pressuring financial institutions — such as insurance providers and banks — to blacklist the NRA.

“The organization is suing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), the state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) and Maria Vullo, New York’s superintendent of financial services,” The Hill reported.

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Now, popular programs could be on the chopping block. “The lawsuit alleges that the NRA may be forced to shut down NRATV and other publications after it lost its media liability coverage,” the news magazine continued.

In simple terms, the well-known group believes that Cuomo and other Democrats are using their political positions to pressure firms to oppose the NRA.

Evidence including a public message from Governor Cuomo’s official Twitter account urging companies to cut ties with the NRA seems to back their claim.

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The NRA “is suffering setbacks with respect to the availability of insurance and banking services — as a result of a political and discriminatory campaign meant to coerce financial institutions to refrain from doing business with the NRA,” attorney William Brewer said.

In a statement to The Hill, the NRA lawyer pointed out that Cuomo is conducting “a blatant attack on the First Amendment rights of our organization.”

“(This would) further harm the NRA, chill the commercial activities of institutions regulated by DFS, and penalize law-abiding New York insurance consumers,” the attorney continued.

That last sentence is particularly important: After all, the NRA is completely legal, and its millions of members are law-abiding gun owners who simply share common concerns.

Not only that, but gun ownership is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, making the left’s efforts to prevent the group from accessing banking services possibly unconstitutional.

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“If the NRA is unable to collect donations from its members, safeguard the assets endowed to it, apply its funds to cover media buys and other expenses integral to its political speech, and obtain basic corporate insurance coverage, it will be unable to exist as a not-for-profit or pursue its advocacy mission,” the group warned.

The lawsuit raises a very good point: What good are the First and Second Amendments if the government can simply pressure institutions to cut off financial services to groups they don’t like?

Imagine for a moment that you or a citizen’s group you believe in was in the same situation. Despite being completely law-abiding, you are shocked to discover that the bank holding your money has closed your account, all because the government doesn’t like your views and has pressured others to blacklist you.

It’s fairly Orwellian, but essentially what seems to be happening right now. Liberals are trying to use “loopholes” to evade the Bill of Rights, but infringement of the Constitution by proxy is still wrong.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.