ACLU Sides with NRA in New York Lawsuit

ACLU Sides with NRA in New York Lawsuit
ACLU Sides with NRA in New York Lawsuit

Arizona -( -Several New York politicians, particularly Governor Cuomo and Maria T. Vullo, have verbally attacked the National Rifle Association (NRA), written letters to state regulatory agencies, industries regulated by New York State, and advised the industries to evaluate whether they should keep the NRA as a customer.

The NRA has filed a lawsuit on First Amendment grounds. The issue is whether the state government can single out a particular entity it politically disagrees with, and use its regulatory power against that entity.

Such use would effectively silence political foes, nullifying First Amendment protections.  The New Republic, a leftist publication, noted the import of Governor Cuomo's words. From

The statements don’t actually direct any businesses to cut off ties with the NRA. At most, they are phrased as sternly worded advisory notices. But such words from a state financial regulator are hard to ignore, especially when the governor is backing them up explicitly. “The NRA is an extremist organization,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter the following day. “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.”

It’s a nice business you’ve got there, the governor seemed to be saying to Wall Street. It’d be a shame if something were to happen to it. In May, a few weeks after DFS sent the notices, state regulators announced consent orders against Lockton Companies and Chubb Group Holdings related to the Carry Guard program; both companies were barred from working with the organization in the future. According to the NRA, the one-two punch of the advisory notice and the consent orders sent a chilling effect throughout its business relationships.

The American Civil Liberties Union has traditionally been hostile to the Second Amendment. Its official position is that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right.

In striking down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court's decision in D.C. v. Heller held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, whether or not associated with a state militia. The ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court's conclusion about the nature of the right protected by the Second Amendment.

The attack on the NRA by the New York government is so outrageous, such a direct assault on the First Amendment rights of all Americans, the ACLU felt compelled to issue an Amicus Curiae brief in favor of the NRA lawsuit. The ACLU's brief states the lawsuit should proceed, that it should not be immediately dismissed. From the brief:

Because the NRA has plausibly alleged that Defendants' actions were motivated by hostility to the NRA's political advocacy, the Motion to Dismiss should be denied.

The ACLU has tremendous experience in defending the First Amendment in the United States. Numerous cases are referenced in their brief to precedents in First Amendment law. Recently, internal memos have left people wondering if the ACLU's commitment to First Amendment rights might be waning.

Second Amendment supporters have often noted their pointed unwillingness to defend the Second Amendment.  They will be glad to receive this assist on protection of Second Amendment rights. The argument has often been made that the First and Second amendments compliment and support each other.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 10 thoughts on “ACLU Sides with NRA in New York Lawsuit

    1. Sounds like a bill of attainder.
      Patently unconstitutional.
      Definition: Bill of Attainder. Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial. The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.”

    2. Probably because, trusting the 1st Amendment to an organization that’s been undermining the 2nd Amendment, since its inception, would lead to regulation of “freedom of the press.” Not that it’s such a bad idea.

      Shouldn’t the media that’s hell-bent on abolishing the 2nd be required to fill out a 4473, before reporting anything? I mean after all, somebody has to be in charge of the “truth.” Moreover, the BATFE is in charge of the right to keep and bear arms; thanks to the NRA.

      Shouldn’t there be a government bureau in charge of the media? We can call it Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, Education and Truth (BATFEET). That way, the NRA can boast it was done to defend the 2nd Amendment, in its usual unflapping demeanor. Then the NRA’s myopic membership can be happy that their wasted donations to the ILA was actually spent on something constructive: Hoisting the media on the NRA’s petard.

    3. If the ACLU helps the NRA defend its right to free speech maybe we can convince them to support the right to keep and bear arms of individuals. If the NRA nd other pro gun groups are silenced, they can convince no one that the individual RKBA exists.

    4. So an organization which upholds and protects the 2nd A of our Bill of Rights is being called “an extremist organization” ?
      How in the hell is upholding our US Constitution and Bill of Rights being “extremist”.
      Seems to me that the DNC itself, is the most extremist organization in the USA right now…

    5. I remember when the ACLU backed the Nazi’s right to march in Skoki, Ill., in a JEWISH community. The ACLU has backed the Constitution (not some judge’s interpretation) more times than I can count. You may not like a lot of their actions (hey, they’re lawyers after all), but you have to give credit where credit is due. Look at their history. You’ll find they are consistent in following the letter of the Constitution, like it or not. I’d rather have them around defending the Constitution, than relying on the Supreme Court or some other elected/appointing judge passing off their “interpretation” of the Constitution as law.

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