The National Rifle Association says it is in dire financial straits and knows just who to blame: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In a lawsuit, the NRA alleges that Cuomo and state regulators are seeking to “deprive the NRA and its constituents of their First Amendment rights to speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment.” At issue is a campaign by the Democratic governor to discourage insurance companies and financial firms from working with the NRA.
The NRA claims that what it describes as New York’s “blacklisting” would “imminently” deprive it of basic banking and other financial services “essential to the NRA’s corporate existence and its advocacy mission.” In its court filing, the NRA said that Cuomo and state regulators “seek to silence one of America’s oldest constitutional-rights advocates,” adding that “if their abuses are not enjoined, they will soon, substantially, succeed.”
Cuomo scoffed at the NRA’s lawsuit on Friday. “New York will not be intimidated by the NRA’s frivolous lawsuit to advance its dangerous gun-peddling agenda,” he said. The state is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit with New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood downplaying the group’s concerns. Although Underwood acknowledged that Cuomo and the NRA have a “longstanding history of strong disagreement” on gun control, she said the lawsuit did not allege that New York “directly inhibited the NRA from expressing its opposition to gun regulation. Instead, it presents a speculative and implausible ‘parade of horribles’.”
Twitter users, for their part, knew exactly how to respond to the NRA’s tale of woe: “Thoughts and prayers.” Twitter was suddenly filled with well-wishers for the organization who repeated what has become the cliché phrase that gun advocates use whenever there is a mass shooting.