NRA sues NY governor, alleging 'blacklisting campaign'

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The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit against New York's Gov. Cuomo and the state for a "blacklisting campaign" targeted against them.

"Defendants specifically intend to undermine the NRA's ability to conduct its affairs in New York-and to advance Cuomo's anti-NRA political agenda", the complaint said.

The NRA's lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of NY, follows a $7 million fine on May 2 imposed by NYDFS against insurance broker Lockton Cos LLC, which administered an NRA-branded insurance program known as "Carry Guard".

The lawsuit claims that Cuomo and Maria Vullo, the chief of the NYDFS, engaged in a "campaign of selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and public threats" to force banks and insurance companies to end insurance services with the NRA.

NY officials are accused of running a politically-motivated crusade that hinders the right of the NRA to "speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment" according to the suit.

The lawsuit follows efforts by the Cuomo administration to encourage banks and insurance companies doing business in NY to cease any dealings with organizations that promote guns.

In a statement, the NRA said the defendants sought to "coerce banks and insurance companies to withhold services from the NRA".

The state canceled policies of New Yorkers who already had Carry Guard.

Governor Cuomo also ordered a directive issued by the NYDFS which resulted in the regulatory agency sending a letter to state-chartered banks and other financiers, deterring them from doing business with the NRA.

On May 2, Lockton Cos. LLC $7 million for underwriting an NRA-branded insurance program called Carry Guard. The insurer, Illinois Union, and the broker, Lockton Affinity, have agreed to stop selling those policies, which cover liability for criminal proceedings stemming from ownership of a legal firearm. The complaint was submitted by William Brewer III and other attorneys of Brewer Attorneys & Counselors in NY and Dallas on behalf of the NRA and Charles Cooper, Michael Kirk and other attorneys of Cooper & Kirk in Washington, D.C.

And Lloyd's of London announced that it is directing insurance underwriters to terminate any existing partnership with the NRA.

NYDFS must also enforce NY law, Vullo said.

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

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