The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit Friday against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s financial regulatory bureau for what it labeled a “blacklisting campaign” aimed at the gun advocacy group.
According to NRA attorney William A. Brewer III, Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) attempted to impede the association’s right to “speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment.”
Last week, NYDFS struck insurance broker Lockton Cos LLC, which administered the NRA insurance program “Carry Guard,” with a $2 million fine.
Just five days later, the department served Illinois Union Insurance and its parent company, Chubb Ltd, with a $1.3 million penalty for having “unlawfully provided liability insurance to gun owners for acts of intentional wrongdoing.”
The NRA suit asserts both fines were settlements due to the “culmination of years of political activism by Cuomo against the NRA and gun rights organizations.”
Furthermore, the legal petition alleges NYDFS, agency superintendent Maria Vullo and Cuomo ran a “campaign of selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and public threats” to influence financial institutions and insurance providers to deny provisions to the NRA.
Cuomo fired back in a statement, insisting the “frivolous” lawsuit is a “futile and desperate attempt to advance its dangerous agenda to sell more guns.”
Last month, the governor tweeted, “I urge companies in New York State to revisit any ties they have to the NRA and consider their reputations, and responsibility to the public.”
The NRA is claiming tens of millions of dollars in damages.