By AWR Hawkins,
3 Aug 20184


In documents filed in NRA v. Andrew  Cuomo, Maria T. Vullo, and The New York State Department of Financial Services the NRA warns of the possibility that it could face financial ruin because of Gov. Cuomo’s (D) alleged “blacklisting campaign.”

The NRA’s suit comes two months after New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) declared the organization’s Carry Guard insurance “illegal” and mandated the cancellation of all such policies in the state. The Times Union quoted Vullo saying, “[New York] will not tolerate conduct by any entity, licensed or otherwise, in contravention of New York Insurance Law, especially when that conduct is such an egregious violation of public policy designed to protect all citizens.”

DFS went on to fine the underwriter for Carry Guard $7 million, even though the underwriter is based in Kansas City, rather than New York.

The NRA now alleges:

Together with DFS Superintendent Vullo, his longtime lieutenant, Cuomo has embarked on a campaign to chill the political speech of the NRA and other so-called “gun promotion” organizations by leveraging state power to punishing financial institutions which maintain “business arrangements with the NRA.” To achieve this, Defendants draw upon the formidable regulatory powers of DFS—an agency charged with ensuring the stability and integrity of New York’s financial markets.

At Cuomo’s behest, Vullo and DFS have threatened, and continue to threaten, regulated institutions with costly investigations and penalties should they fail to “discontinue[] . . . their arrangements with the NRA.” And Defendants have already carried out some of these threats. Within a single week, DFS levied multi-million dollar fines against two insurance-industry firms that dared to do business with the NRA. Under intense scrutiny, both firms were coerced to terminate their business arrangements with the NRA and its members—including arrangements having nothing to do with the allegedly unlawful conduct cited by DFS. A DFS press release publicizing one recent enforcement action makes clear the gravamen of Defendants’ campaign: financial institutions regulated by DFS must refrain from “[e]ntering into any . . . agreement or arrangement,” which “involv[es] the NRA, directly or indirectly”—or face the consequences….