May 23rd, 2018

NRA Sues N.Y. Governor Cuomo and Dept. of Financial Services

NRA sues Deparment Financial Services N.Y. Cuomo New York State attacks NRA pressures insurance and banking companies

Recently the State of New York launched a campaign intended to force banks and insurance companies to stop doing business with gun industry companies. Both the N.Y. State Dept. of Financial Services (DFS) and the N.Y. State Controller’s office have tried to compel banks and insurers to abandon the gun/firearms industry. According to the N.Y. Daily News, “Gov. Cuomo’s administration is urging banks and insurance companies in New York to reconsider any ties they have to the gun industry”. (READ FULL Story)

Now the NRA is fighting back. On May 11, 2018, the NRA filed suit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the N.Y. State Dept. of Financial Services (DFS), alleging violations of the NRA’s First Amendment rights.

The Federal Court lawsuit claims that Cuomo, DFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo, and DFS engaged in a “campaign of selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and public threats” designed to coerce banks and insurance companies to withhold services from the NRA. The NRA argues that such tactics vastly overstep DFS’s regulatory mandate, and seek to suppress the speech of Second Amendment supporters and retaliate against the NRA and others for their political advocacy. The lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in damages to redress harms inflicted by the DFS campaign.

Among other things, the lawsuit cites a pair of “guidance” letters issued on April 19, 2018, by the DFS to the CEOs of banks and insurance companies doing business in New York. Styled as regulatory “risk management” advisories, the letters encourage institutions to “take prompt actions” to manage “reputational risk” posed by dealings with “gun promotion organizations.” The same day, Cuomo issued a press release in which Vullo directly urged “all insurance companies and banks doing business in New York” to “discontinue[] their arrangements with the NRA”.

The lawsuit claims that the “guidance” letters were accompanied by back-channel communications and targeted enforcement actions, which further reinforced the Cuomo administration’s message that it is bad business in New York to do business with the NRA.

The lawsuit explains that the DFS mandate — preceded by an “investigation” orchestrated by gun-control activists into insurance programs sponsored by the NRA — has already caused several insurance companies to sever relationships with the NRA and to plan to cancel the insurance policies of law-abiding New York consumers.

According to the complaint, the directive of Cuomo and Vullo has had its intended effect — to advance Cuomo’s longstanding opposition to gun-rights supporters and to distort insurance markets in the service of a political agenda.

The lawsuit says, “As a direct result of this coercion, multiple firms have succumbed to Defendants’ demands and entered into consent orders with DFS that compel them to terminate longstanding, beneficial business relationships with the NRA both in New York and elsewhere.”

On May 2, 2018 and May 7, 2018, Lockton Companies, LLC and Chubb Ltd., respectively, announced they will pay millions of dollars in fines to DFS and cease doing business with the NRA — for no other reason than many of the insurance programs with which they are associated carry the NRA brand. On May 9, 2018, Lloyd’s of London announced that it is directing insurance underwriters to terminate any existing partnerships [with the NRA].

New York State attacks NRA pressures insurance and banking companies

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April 6th, 2012

New York State Abandons Useless CoBIS Ballistics Database

When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the NY state budget into law last week, this had the effect of immediately eliminating the Combined Ballistics Identification System (CoBIS), New York’s ineffective ballistic identification database. (Importantly, the New York budget bill did NOT contain a microstamping provision.) The end of CoBIS is a major victory for law-abiding firearms owners throughout the state of New York. CoBIS was set up and launched in 2000 by then Gov. George Pataki. In the words of the New York Post: “Trouble is, the Pataki program NEVER worked. Despite the hundreds of thousands of spent shells submitted, not one criminal was ever captured using the extensive and costly-to-maintain database, state officials concede.”

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