New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- As many people were headed off to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, the NRA dropped a legal bombshell that could have New York Governor Andrew Cuomo trembling. The gun-rights organization has asked to re-open portions of their 2018 lawsuit that had been previously dismissed without prejudice this past May, citing new evidence.
According to a press release, the NRA filed a proposed Second Amended Complaint on December 20th 2019, citing documents provided by Lloyd’s this past June. According to the Memorandum of Law, the documents – and other information – “paint a stark and troubling picture of” the actions taken by the Cuomo regime. These included threats of adverse government action “delivered in off-the-record conversations and surreptitious backroom meetings” unless the company stopped doing business with the NRA.
According to a publicly released version of the Second Amended Complaint, the threats were backed up by fines levied against two insurance companies that did business with the NRA, including its Carry Guard insurance program intended to defray legal expenses from self-defense incidents. The coercion from the Cuomo regime eventually led those companies to sign settlements in which they agreed to cease doing any business with the NRA.
The track record of Andrew Cuomo should be no secret to loyal AmmoLand readers. While serving as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he encouraged big cities to file lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, using the threat of bankruptcy via massive legal fees to coerce the gun companies to agree to restrictions that were largely rejected in Congress and most state legislatures. Did anyone forget that before the 2000 election, Cuomo had succeeded in forcing Smith and Wesson to accept terms that outraged law-abiding gun owners?
The blog FinRegRag noted in April 2018, “Whatever one thinks of the NRA, it is an organization engaged in legal political speech and advocacy. Cutting off the NRA’s access to financial services could change the political debate by reducing opposition to political efforts to tighten gun laws.” Cuomo admitted as such in an August 2018 tweet, according to a report by FoxNews.com, saying that a bankrupted NRA would be in his “thoughts and prayers.”
The blog went on to call on New York to rescind its campaign, noting that the Cuomo regime’s campaign was inherently aimed at suppressing the political advocacy of the NRA.
As events have shown, Cuomo persisted, showing as much disdain for the First Amendment as he has shown for the Second Amendment over the years.
The NRA hasn’t been the only victim of this campaign to suppress opposition to his agenda: The Cuomo regime also tried to twist securities regulation to attack ExxonMobil over climate change, but saw that case dismissed with prejudice last month. That ruling means New York cannot re-try the case – contrast that decision with the fact that the NRA’s selective enforcement claim was dismissed without prejudice in May.
“People were not only crossing the lines that are appropriately drawn by our Constitution,” William Brewer, the attorney hired by the NRA to handle the legal case against Cuomo, said to the New York Times magazine, “they were aggressively determined to blur, cross, obliterate those lines.”
The New York Times magazine noted that the Cuomo regime’s campaign has cost the NRA about $40 million in lost income and attorney’s fees in 2019 alone. Imagine how much $40 million could have done to promote the defense of our Second Amendment rights, training people to responsibly exercise their Second Amendment rights, or even training gunsmiths.
The stakes of the NRA’s fight with New York cannot be higher. As William Brewer told the New York Times magazine, “If they could do it to those guys, they could do it to me. They could do it to all of us.”
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.