NRA Says It Could Soon Go Broke in New Court Filing

The gun group argues it may be “unable to exist” because of pressure from New York state officials.

Zach D Roberts/ZUMA

As the National Rifle Association remains curiously silent in response to questions over its ties to an alleged Russian spy, it appears the gun lobby group is now facing another major headache—one the group claims directly threatens its very existence.

In a recent court filing first obtained by Rolling Stone, the NRA warns that it is in grave financial trouble over New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s role in convincing financial service providers, including banks and insurance companies, not to conduct business with the gun group. The association blasted Cuomo, along with the state’s Department of Financial Services, with engaging in a “blacklisting campaign” that has cost the group millions. The NRA warns it could be forced the end to its television and magazine services, curtail rallies, and shutter offices.

In April, about two months following the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, Cuomo directed the Department of Financial Services to call on various financial institutions to reevaluate their business ties with the NRA. “This is not just a matter of reputation,” the governor said in a statement announcing the initiative. “It is a matter of public safety, and working together, we can put an end to gun violence in New York once and for all.”

In turn, the NRA sued, claiming that the state was denying its right to “speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment.” The group’s most recent court filing in the ongoing lawsuit includes new claims about how New York state’s actions has hamstrung its activities. 

“If the NRA is unable to collect donations from its members, safeguard the assets endowed to it, apply its funds to cover media buys and other expenses integral to its political speech, and obtain basic corporate insurance coverage, it will be unable to exist as a not-for-profit or pursue its advocacy mission,” the new complaint said. “Defendants seek to silence one of America’s oldest constitutional rights advocates. If their abuses are not enjoined, they will soon, substantially, succeed.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.