New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- By now, you’ve probably heard of Andrew Cuomo’s latest attack on the National Rifle Association – the weaponization of bank regulations to silence this civil rights organization’s voice. That effort has drawn belated criticism from the ACLU.
Let’s lay it out here – Cuomo’s had a long-running feud with supporters of the Second Amendment and your Right to Keep & Bear Arms.
If you have not read the NRA’s complaint against Cuomo, that is very understandable. It is 45 pages of legalese. But inside that lies the origins of the feud – which started with a lot of lawsuits.
Back in the 1990s, supporters of gun control were facing real problems. In 1993, they had passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which led to the National Instant Check System – it had not been what they wanted, which had been a waiting period for handgun purchases. 1994 saw the passage of a ten-year ban on certain semi-automatic firearms, again far short of what some desire. Those measures, far short of what anti-Second Amendment types wanted, had prompted a massive backlash in the form of a takeover of Congress by Republicans due to the anger over both gun bills and the failed push for Hillarycare.
That sweep also had massive effects at the state level – it wasn’t just Congress where more pro-Second Amendment lawmakers were elected, pro-Second Amendment governors and state legislators were swept into office. As a result, states began to pass “shall-issue” concealed carry laws. As it spread, and the horrors predicted by the likes of Sarah Brady didn’t emerge, enthusiasm for gun control among legislators, governors, and other lawmakers primarily faded.
Big city mayors, though, teamed up with trial lawyers and what was then known as Handgun Control Incorporated and came up with an idea. If they couldn’t get Congress to pass gun laws, they’d use the courts. Well, more accurately, they would use civil litigation to pressure gun companies into complying with the demands of gun control advocates. If they didn’t, they would face bankruptcy, either from significant jury verdicts or legal bills. By filing in local courts, they’d get a better shot.
Cuomo pushed that approach hard as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, threatening “death by a thousand cuts” and forcing Smith and Wesson to agree to a settlement in March 2000. Cuomo also tried to coordinate efforts by many cities to give purchasing preference to companies that went along with an “Anti-Gun Code of Conduct” similar to what he coerced Smith and Wesson into signing.
But with the election of George W. Bush, that effort faded. Cuomo stewed until 2007 when he became Attorney General of New York and won the governorship in 2010. The month after the tragic 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Cuomo signed the New York SAFE Act, which not only banned a number of semi-auto firearms but also enacted a host of other restrictions. But at the federal level, the push for a new semi-auto ban faded.
The next year, Cuomo declared that supporters of the Second Amendment, among others, had “no place in the state of New York.” Mid-term spankings across the country – which included New York to an extent (Cuomo’s vote share was under 55 percent) – chilled the push for gun control. With the election of President Trump, the hopes for new federal gun control laws were gone.
Even after Parkland, there was no groundswell of support for gun control – especially when the facts surrounding FBI fumbles and Broward County bumbling got out. But that was when Cuomo began his campaign abusing the bank regulations for political purposes. He got Lockton, Chubb, and Lloyd’s of London to end associations with the NRA. He egged on other governors in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and more to do so as well.
Over these two-decades, it is patently obvious that Andrew Cuomo has been unable to convince Americans to enact his gun control agenda.
It’s been largely rejected across the country. But these two decades have shown that Cuomo is perfectly willing to turn to thuggery and underhanded efforts to get what he wants when he is denied using democratic methods. Should he win re-election this year, he could very well run for president. We could see the thuggery and underhanded efforts on a national scale – one that will make the actions of Lois Lerner look like peanuts.
And a president who gets away with using such tactics is a frightening prospect. Not just for Second Amendment issues, but across the board. To make sure that does not happen, join the NRA, support NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF, and vote on November 6th, 2018!
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues.
Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.