Cuomo Ups Ante In Taking Legal Fight To NRA

Standing Up To The NRA

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday that the state will highlight the National Rifle Association’s pledge to spend $1 million to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court in papers related to the state’s motion to dismiss the NRA‘s lawsuit.

The move comes as Cuomo continues to up both its legal wrangling and rhetoric against the gun lobby group. In April, he instructed the state regulators to “urge insurance companies, New York State-chartered banks, and other financial services companies licensed in New York to review any relationships they may have with the NRA.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The NRA responded with a lawsuit against Cuomo and the state alleging that the action was a defacto blacklisting of the organization, and the state’s actions are a threat to “the NRA‘s corporate existence and its advocacy mission.”

But Cuomo said the NRA‘s support of Kavanaugh and commitment to spend $1 million promoting his nomination proves that the organization is not on the verge of bankruptcy or experiencing financial hardship that could threaten its operations. The NRA is not being honest about their financial situation, and has filed a frivolous lawsuit against the state of New York, he said.

“Once again the NRA‘s lies and deception have been uncovered,” Cuomo said. “It is the height of hypocrisy to cry poverty on one hand after being caught red-handed profiting off an illegal insurance scheme, all the while spending $1 million to push its radical anti-gun safety agenda in Washington. New York will continue to fight against the NRA and their meritless law suit every step of the way.”

The Motion to Dismiss the NRA‘s lawsuit, announced by the governor last week, calls for the complaint to be dismissed in its entirety and argues that the actions by the governor and Department of Financial Services to protect New Yorkers do not implicate the NRA‘s First Amendment Rights or deprive the NRA of any other constitutional protections.

In addition, citing Kavanaugh‘s interpretation of an unlimited Second Amendment (right to bear arms), Cuomo and members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the New York Congressional Delegation in July called on the U.S. Senate to block the confirmation of President Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee.

Cuomo last week also said he wore as a badge of honor that the NRA again gave him an “F” rating on the NRA’s 2018 NY Candidate Questionnaire. It is a rating he has received at least five years running.

“The survey asks if I support repealing the SAFE Act. Let me be clear: One of my proudest moments as governor was authoring and then signing the SAFE Act into law. This act requires background checks for all private gun purchases and closes the “gun show loophole.” This is something that over 90% of Americans can agree on because it’s common sense. The SAFE Act was enacted five years ago and has done absolutely nothing to infringe on lawful gun owners’ rights – so the scare tactics didn’t bare out,” the governor said.

Other measures on the NRA survey that Cuomo said he ardently disagrees with the gun lobbying group includes his support for measures preventing individuals on the terrorist watch list from buying guns and in removing guns from domestic abusers.

“This year, we passed new legislation ensuring that domestic abusers are prohibited from possessing both hand guns and long guns. We closed a loophole to be certain that a domestic abuser is required to surrender all guns,” he said.

“Take a moment and see the absurdity: You support arming domestic abusers and fight the disarming of terrorists. This is repugnant to commonsense and our values. So, in conclusion, I take an F and give you one right back. Feel free to shop your ‘endorsement’ elsewhere. And, by the way, I’ll see you in court,” he added.