New York/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- One refrain often heard in relation to the assaults on the National Rifle Association launched by former New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New York attorney general Letitia James is that this fight has no implications for other pro-Second Amendment groups. They think it’s just because the NRA is a mess. Some even look forward to the demise of “Negotiating Rights Away.”
No doubt, the NRA has been lax and messed up, particularly with Ackerman-McQueen (it should be noted that the NRA and LaPierre have scored some wins in that litigation). Certainly, its leadership didn’t heed warnings about the potential for abuse of power years before Cuomo launched his attacks after the Parkland shooting. But anyone who thinks other pro-Second Amendment groups are safe never read the original letters from New York’s Department of Financial Services to banks and insurers.
Here’s what Maria Vullo wrote in her letter, titled “Guidance on Risk Management Relating to the NRA and Similar Gun Promotion Organizations” to insurance companies: “The Department encourages regulated institutions to review any relationships they have with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations, and to take prompt actions to managing these risks and promote public health and safety.” [Emphasis added]
Let’s also look at what she wrote in her letter to banks, also titled “Guidance on Risk Management Relating to the NRA and Similar Gun Promotion Organizations,” just to be sure: “The Department encourages regulated institutions to review any relationships they have with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations, and to take prompt actions to managing these risks and promote public health and safety.” [Emphasis added]
What do you all think the phrase “similar gun promotion organizations” might mean? I can think of a few off the top of my head:
- Gun Owners of America
- Second Amendment Foundation
- Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep and Bear Arms
- National Shooting Sports Foundation
- Firearms Policy Coalition
Those are just the national groups. What do you think happens to the state-level groups? Again, the Cuomo regime (which is continued under Kathy Hochul) didn’t just target the NRA – the letters specifically mentioned “similar gun promotion organizations.”
They’re not after the NRA, they’re after every Second Amendment supporter and every pro-Second Amendment organization. The NRA is just first on their to-do list. Just the Letitia James-style fishing expeditions and the coerced financial blacklisting would wreak havoc on those groups, which have a fraction of the resources of the NRA. This is not the first time anti-Second Amendment extremists targeted organizations that sought to defend the Second Amendment.
Recall, back when big cities were suing gun manufacturers, they also included trade groups as defendants, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – as this lengthy piece from a lawyer with the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence admitted in a footnote.
Back then, the goal was to use the threat of legal costs to force gun manufacturers into settlements that would achieve the goals that anti-Second Amendment extremists were failing to get via the legislative and political processes. But they also wanted to silence pro-Second Amendment voices – and so-called “moderates” like Dan Gross do nothing to stop it. That is what is behind financial blacklisting, corporate gun control, campaign finance “reform” schemes, social stigmatization, and Silicon Valley censorship.
Now, the goals are simple: Deny any nascent pro-Second Amendment group access to financial services. Render others ineffective in a sea of legal fees. Over the long term, it would eventually silence pro-Second Amendment activism.
Second Amendment supporters need to act. You don’t have to join the NRA or donate, but you do need to write your elected officials, and among other things, urge passage of a state-law equivalent to the Freedom Financing Act. There is also a need to work to defeat anti-Second Amendment level extremists at the federal, state, and local levels via the ballot box as soon as possible. But ultimately, Second Amendment supports need to resolve that an attack on one pro-Second Amendment organization is an attack on all pro-Second Amendment organizations.
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.