The state of New York is trying to kill the National Rifle Association. While the state may claim all sorts of things in their legal action against the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the truth of the matter is that all they’re doing is in an effort to destroy an ideological opponent. Oh, they might say the NRA isn’t spending money appropriately, but do you think they really give a damn what happens to the money folks like us donate to the NRA? Do you think the state of New York actually cares about us and our efforts to protect our Second Amendment rights?
Of course not. This isn’t about any of that. It’s a pretext. That’s an excuse to try and do what they and other anti-gun politicians have wanted to do for ages. They’re trying to destroy the biggest obstacle to gun control in this country.
Well, if they thought the NRA would go along quietly, they were deluding themselves.
The National Rifle Association is fighting back against a lawsuit filed Thursday by New York’s attorney general by submitting its own civil suit against the state official, accusing her of defamation and violating its rights to free speech.
The NRA’s lawsuit was filed in the federal court of New York and alleges Attorney General Letitia James “made the political prosecution of the NRA a central campaign theme” when she was running for the AG’s office in 2018, and has not treated the association fairly since.
“Despite hopes that playing by the rules would procure a just outcome, the NRA has not been treated fairly by James’s office,” the 19-page suit states. “The New York Democratic Party political machine seeks to harass, defund, and dismantle the NRA because of what it believes and what it says.”
The defamation allegations stem from James’ public descriptions of the NRA as a “criminal enterprise” and “a terrorist organization.”
“James boasted that she would strike foul blows against the NRA and pound the NRA into submission. She vowed that she would use the NYAG’s investigative and enforcement powers for the precise purpose of stanching political speech (‘deadly propaganda),” the lawsuit states. “She has begun to deliver on her campaign promises to retaliate against the NRA for constitutionally protected speech on issues that James opposes. As NYAG, James has regrettably succumbed to ‘individual passions, and individual malevolence.’”
The truth of the matter is that James isn’t alone in this.
Immediately after Parkland, Governor Andrew Cuomo began his own personal jihad against the NRA and the firearms community as a whole. He pushed banks–most of whom are headquartered in New York and thus have to play by their rules–to begin severing ties with firearms manufacturers. We’ve seen numerous companies in the firearm industry have accounts be closed suddenly and for no reason because of it.
James’s actions are just the latest step in the war New York has declared on gun rights advocates.
It makes sense the NRA would try to fight back. I’m not sure this will go much of anywhere with the defamation claims–those are notoriously difficult to prove, especially against a public entity like the NRA–but James made specific claims during her campaign. That may well work against her in court.
We’ll have to see, to be sure, but it’s good to see the NRA not going down without a fight.