U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Federal Judge Allows NRA Lawsuit to Proceed Against Gov. Cuomo

The National Rifle Association's lawsuit against New York's Governor Cuomo will be allowed to proceed after the state failed to get the entire case tossed out.

According to the recent Decision and Order, issued by the Northern District of New York federal court, the NRA's case meets the initial pleading threshold requirements to state a case against the governor for pressuring banks, insurers, and other regulated industries, to not do business with the divisive organization.

Benefits for NRA Members

The National Rifle Association claims that Gov. Cuomo's press release last April that urged banks and insurers to "join the companies that have already discontinued their arrangements with the NRA."

In short, the NRA had negotiated certain member benefits, such as insurance rates and other membership incentives. The complaint alleges that Cuomo's press release and exerting improper pressure on industries to sever ties with the organization infringes upon the organization's First Amendment rights.

Cuomo v. NRA

The lawsuit against Cuomo certainly is not devoid of political retaliation. Cuomo has been a vocal opponent of the NRA for some time, and, as quoted in the lawsuit, Tweeted:

"The NRA is an extremist organization. I urge companies in New York State to revisit any ties they have to the NRA and consider their reputations, and responsibility to the public."

He also Tweeted that, in short, he would be happy if he caused the NRA to go belly-up.

But the NRA insists that the case is about Cuomo levying an impermissible threat to the companies that have arrangements benefiting NRA members. Basically, it's claimed that Cuomo threatened that companies that continued to do business/have arrangements with the NRA would be targeted by the government.

Unfortunately for the NRA, the court noted in its decision allowing only 2 of 7 causes of action to move forward, "While the NRA may not be able to establish the factual predicates for these claims, it has presented sufficient allegations to allow them to go forward."

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