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Cuomo Goes National In Battle Against NRA

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in White Plains to promote gun safety.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in White Plains to promote gun safety. Photo Credit: file

The National Rifle Association, the nation's top pro-gun lobby and one of its most powerful interest groups, said regulatory efforts by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New Castle could make it “unable to exist as a not-for-profit or pursue its advocacy mission."

Cuomo, on Twitter, responded : "If I could have put the @NRA out of business, I would have done it 20 years ago. I'll see you in court."

In a July 20 amended complaint, first reported by the New York Law Journal, the NRA accused Cuomo, as well as state Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo, of issuing a “series of threats to financial institutions that DFS. . .  will exercise its extensive regulatory power against those entities that fail to sever ties with the NRA.”

The complaint argues that Cuomo’s actions threaten the NRA’s continued existence.

These threats, the NRA complaint argued, endanger the financial viability of the organization by putting its access to financial services at risk. Cuomo could, the complaint states, “imminently deprive the NRA of basic bank-depository services, corporate insurance coverage, and other financial services essential to the NRA’s corporate existence and its advocacy mission.”

On Saturday, Aug. 4, Cuomo's office issued a statement that read: "If the NRA goes bankrupt because of the State of New York, they'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I'll see you in court."

Meanwhile, Cuomo urged states across the country to follow New York's lead and outlaw the NRA-branded "Carry Guard" insurance program if they determine it does not already violate their state laws. Cuomo's call to action follows a State investigation that found the program illegal under state law, leading to penalties against insurance companies involved. New York will begin outreach to other states to support their efforts to outlaw the practice and hold insurers responsible.

On Friday Aug. 3, New York state filed a motion to dismiss an NRA lawsuit against New York that suggested the State's actions were a threat to "the NRA's corporate existence and its advocacy mission."

"At a time when Washington has completely abdicated its responsibility to protect the American people, states must lead," Cuomo said.

"I am calling on states across the country to join New York to outlaw this absurd program that insures intentional criminal conduct. Every time there's a shooting, politicians and the NRA offer American families nothing more than thoughts and prayers. If the NRA goes bankrupt because of the State of New York, they'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I'll see you in court," Cuomo said.

Cuomo also said thar NRA's federal lawsuit against him is frivolous. The lawsuit claims that Cuomo's policies are trying to deprive the NRA of its First Amendment rights by making it more difficult for the organization to function in the state.

"I'm hoping to extend this all across the country," Cuomo said in an interview with All Things Considered. "And if they think New York hurt their pocketbook, let's see what happens when the other states also join in."

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