Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Fairfax, VA, United States (4E) – The National Rifle Association (NRA), the chief opponent of sensible gun controls that will prevent mass shootings in the United States, says it’s in “deep financial trouble” that might render it “unable to exist.”
NRA reported it was nearly $46 million in the red in 2016. That total most likely increased over the past year.
An unrelenting and punishing drive by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to cripple the funding that allows the NRA to defeat gun control legislation in the U.S. Congress is apparently working. NRA says Cuomo has convinced banks, financial service providers, and insurance firms against doing business with it. Cuomo encouraged New York-based businesses to cut ties with the NRA in April.
Consequently, the NRA claims it will be forced to end its magazine publishing and television services. It will also be forced to curb rallies and close down some of its offices.
“New York may have the strongest gun laws in the country, but we must push further to ensure that gun safety is a top priority for every individual, company, and organization that does business across the state,” said Cuomo.
“I am directing the Department of Financial Services to urge insurers and bankers statewide to determine whether any relationship they may have with the NRA or similar organizations sends the wrong message to their clients and their communities who often look to them for guidance and support. This is not just a matter of reputation, it is a matter of public safety, and working together, we can put an end to gun violence in New York once and for all.”
The NRA then sued Cuomo, claiming the governor was attempting to deny the group the ability to speak freely about gun-related issues. Last week, it filed an additional claim suggesting the move has impacted its cash flow to the point that it may soon be forced out of existence.
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.
In a July 20 court filing, NRA claims Cuomo and state regulators “seek to silence one of America’s oldest constitutional-rights advocates. If their abuses are not enjoined, they will soon, substantially, succeed.”
In the new filing, NRA admitted Cuomo’s tactics are working.
“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,” claims the NRA.
Cuomo lapped it up. “If I could have put the NRA out of business, I would have done it 20 years ago,” he said. New York will file a motion to dismiss the suit, said the governor.
He said New York won’t be intimidated by the NRA’s frivolous lawsuit to advance its dangerous gun-peddling agenda. He 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 NRA filed a lawsuit a month after Maria Vullo, New York Superintendent of Financial Services, sent a letter to banks and insurers following the Feb.14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead.
The letter warned its recipients of a “reputational risk” of doing business with the NRA and the gun industry.
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