The National Rifle Association filed suit against the New York State Department of Financial Services and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) on Friday, alleging they violated the group’s First Amendment rights.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, said New York engaged in a “viewpoint-based discrimination campaign” against the NRA and its members. It claims that the governor and regulatory agency he oversees have engaged in a pressure campaign against financial institutions that deal with the NRA.
“Directed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, this campaign involves selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and public threats with a singular goal—to deprive the NRA and its constituents of their First Amendment right to speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment,” lawyers for the gun rights group wrote in their filing. “To effect their sweeping agenda, Defendants issued public demands that put DFS-regulated institutions on notice to ‘discontinue their arrangements with the NRA’ and other ‘gun promotion organizations’ if they planned to do business in New York.”
The suit alleged that the letter from Maria Vullo, superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services, to a number of financial institutions it regulates amounts to a public threat against New York banks doing business with the organization. They went on to say the public letter was combined with pressure applied out of public view, which they said were tantamount to coercion.
“At the same time, Defendants engaged in back-channel communications to reinforce their intended purpose,” the filing said. “Simply put, Defendants made it clear to banks and insurers that it is bad business in New York to do business with the NRA.”
Cuomo, and the other anti-gun nuts will stop at nothing to erode, and eventually erase the right to keep and bear arms.