NRA sues Cuomo over what it calls blacklisting campaign

NRA slapping Cuomo with lawsuit over blacklisting campaign violating First Amendment rights

"I am proud of my "F" rating from the NRA, and I will continue to do everything I can to keep New Yorkers safe".

The National Rifle Association on Friday sued New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state's financial regulator for engaging in what it said was a "blacklisting campaign" aimed at swaying banks and insurers to stop doing business with the gun advocacy group, according to a complaint.

It accuses Cuomo of directing a campaign of "selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and public threats" aimed at depriving the NRA and its members of their First Amendment rights "to speak freely about gun-related issues".

The NRA's complaint is seeking damages for what the organization alleges are violations of members' free speech, equal protection and due process under state and federal laws following DFS-imposed consent orders and fines earlier this month against a Chubb Ltd. subsidiary and an insurance broker that sold NRA-branded "Carry Guard" gun owner liability policies in NY.

The complaint notes an April 19 memo from Ms. Vullo in which the department encouraged insurers doing business in NY state to continue to evaluate their risks that may arise from their dealings with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations.

Cuomo said the lawsuit is "a futile and desperate attempt to advance its risky agenda to sell more guns", according to an Associated Press report Friday afternoon.

The NRA's suit was filed in the wake of a $7 million fine being levied against Carry Guard insurance provider Lockton Companies LLC.

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The fines were part of settlements between the companies and the regulator, outcomes that are the "culmination of years of political activism by Cuomo against the NRA and gun rights organizations", an NRA lawyer said in a statement.

On May 2, Lockton Cos. "The Department will not stand down from its mandate to enforce NY law".

During its investigation into the NRA-branded Carry Guard program, DFS found the program unlawfully provided liability insurance to gun owners for acts of intentional wrongdoing and improperly provided legal services insurance for costs and expenses, as well as for any act of self-defense covered under the policy for gun owners and their resident family members who may be charged with a crime involving a legally possessed firearm, according to a DFS press release.

The NRA has suffered tens of millions of dollars in damages, the group said.

Additionally, the department announced Monday that insurance firm Chubb Ltd. and its subsidiary Illinois Union Insurance Company would pay a $1.3 million fine for underwriting the Carry Guard program through Lockton Affinity.

The governor's office did not respond to a request for comment.

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