Court filings obtained by Rolling Stone magazine show the organization complaining that it will be "it will be unable to exist as a not-for-profit or pursue its advocacy mission" if Cuomo's "discrimination campaign," including "backroom exhortation and public threats," goes unchecked by the courts.
The NRA says it's being selectively prosecuted after New York financial regulators halted the sale of an NRA-issued insurance policy which was deemed illegal. The "Carry Guard" insurance option reimbursed NRA members for legal costs they accrued after firing their legally owned firearms. In May, courts found that the policy "unlawfully provided liability insurance to gun owners for certain acts of intentional wrongdoing." The gun rights group's insurance partners stopped selling the policy and paid $7 million in fines.
But a $7 million fine isn't enough to make a not-for-profit giant like the NRA go into the red. The other issue at play, according to the NRA, is that Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services are working concurrently to deny the organization business and shut it down.
While Cuomo is allegedly leading the boycott, banks and insurance companies are refusing service to the organization.
The NRA, a political donation heavyweight, also spent nearly $46 million more than it accrued in revenue in 2016, the year of the most recent US presidential election, according to financial documents obtained by ProPublica.
Cuomo wrote a letter to financial institutions in the wake of the devastating school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018, asking them to listen to the "passionate, courageous and articulate young people who have experienced this recent horror first hand."
"The tragic devastation caused by gun violence that we have regrettably been increasingly witnessing is a public safety and health issue that should no longer be tolerated by the public, and there will undoubtedly be increasing public backlash against the NRA and like organizations," Cuomo wrote, adding that "our insurers" have a mandate to improve public health and manage reputational risks.
Cuomo has also tweeted that the NRA is an "extremist organization."
Many of the survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school have been vocal opponents of the NRA, with one accusing the organization of supporting child murderers.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 20, 2018
Cuomo's calls to action are a "malicious conspiracy to stifle the NRA's speech and induce a boycott of the NRA," the organization said in the amended complaint, which was filed in late July.
— Lockton (@Lockton) February 27, 2018
The NRA's previous insurance provider has refused to continue doing business with it, the NRA said, and it has been unable to find a replacement. The NRA says that "multiple financial institutions have succumbed to [Cuomo's] demands" while "multiple banks withdrew their bids" from the NRA's Request for Proposal after Cuomo's letter, "based on concerns that any involvement with the NRA — even providing the organization with basic depository services — would expose them to regulatory reprisals."
When the news broke that the NRA was running out of cash, Twitter had few tears to spare. One Twitter user called the pro-Second Amendment group a "blight on our democracy."
— Harold Itzkowitz (@HaroldItz) August 3, 2018
— 🎶Eboni 🎶 (@EboniEllie) August 3, 2018
— Graham Brown (@SilvertipGrizz) August 3, 2018
— midlife (@danceforluv) August 3, 2018
— Kim Alberts (@KimKkalberts) August 3, 2018
— Anmari Linardi (@AnmariFilms) August 3, 2018
— Troy Schnyder (@troyspix) August 3, 2018
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) August 3, 2018
Some Twitter users thought the NRA's court filing claiming its deep pockets are running dry was actually a cynical fundraising ploy. Rolling Stone's headline and lead paragraph in its report on the story have also caused confusion on the Twitterverse and among liberal journalists, since it reported that the NRA said it may be "unable to exist."
In fact, the NRA said it may not be able to exist as a not-for-profit. The organization could, theoretically, restructure if it was forced to because of its finances.
Most Twitter users slammed the organization by turning the GOP's favorite turn-of-phrase in the wake of mass shootings against them, offering the NRA only "thoughts and prayers" as it struggles to keep afloat.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) August 3, 2018
— Lily Herman (@lkherman) August 3, 2018
— dylan (@dyllyp) August 3, 2018