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NRA in financial jeopardy after ‘blacklisted,’ hit with $7 million fine, more

Walther PPK (ArtBrom/Flickr)
August 06, 2018

A new court filing revealed that the National Rifle Association (NRA) might be in dire financial troubles.

Court documents obtained by Rolling Stone showed that the NRA is suing the state of New York over a “blacklisting campaign” that has caused “tens of millions of dollars in damages” to the organization, which implicates its ability “to exist … or pursue its advocacy mission.”

Actions by New York state regulators have resulted in the NRA losing insurance coverage, which directly impacts its daily operations and media coverage.

“Insurance coverage is necessary for the NRA to continue its existence,” the documents say, adding that the “NRA cannot maintain its physical premises, convene off-site meetings and events, operate educational programs … or hold rallies, conventions and assemblies.”

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The group cited its difficulties in obtaining replacement insurance coverage, adding that numerous banks have also refused to do business with the group for fears of regulatory consequences.

The group warned in the documents that NRA’s print and magazine publications could be shut down, as well as the group’s video streaming service, NRATV.

“The NRA’s inability to obtain insurance in connection with media liability raises risks that are especially acute; if insurers remain afraid to transact with the NRA, there is a substantial risk that NRATV will be forced to cease operating,” documents said.

The group also cites “abuses” by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other regulators that “will imminently deprive the NRA of basic bank-depository services … and other financial services essential to the NRA’s corporate existence.”

New York regulators took action to block the sale of NRA-branded insurance policies called “Carry Guard,” which would reimburse policy holders for any legal costs incurred following the lawful discharge of a firearm.

New York regulators determined the policy “unlawfully provided liability insurance to gun owners for certain acts of intentional wrongdoing,” and charged the NRA with a $7 million fine.

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Yet after pressuring the NRA to remove the policy, New York regulators went further.

Regulators penned a letter, which can be viewed here, to banks asking them to sever ties with the NRA after the Parkland, Florida shooting.

The letter said the NRA was a promoter of guns “that lead to senseless violence” and called on banks to “continue evaluating and managing their risks, including reputational risks, that may arise from their dealings with the NRA.”

The NRA’s lawsuit alleges that Cuomo and regulators conspired to suppress the NRA’s free speech and enacted “unlawful conduct with the intent to obstruct, chill, deter, and retaliate against the NRA’s core political speech.”

The lawsuit requests an injunction to prevent state regulators from “interfering with, terminating, or diminishing any of the NRA’s contracts and/or business relationships with any organizations.”