NRA Loses in Court, Faces Potentially Explosive Public Trial
The NRA lost its request for a preliminary injunction to stop the New York Department of Financial Services from initiating enforcement proceedings against the NRA with respect to its failed Carry Guard insurance product. This means that the NRA will, for the first time, face a public hearing with evidence and testimony, which could result in the NRA being assessed penalties in excess of ten million dollars.
The ruling from the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of New York came after the NRA was charged by the New York State Department of Financial Service (“DFS”) for various violations of the insurance law pertaining to Carry Guard––a program that promised to provide insurance coverage for legal and other costs for gun owners who shoot someone and claim self-defense––and other insurance products it offered. The DFS website currently lists a public hearing for the NRA in this matter of September 22, 2020, where witnesses and evidence can be presented by both sides.
The decision by District Court Judge Thomas McAvoy can be read in full here. Highlights include:
- The Court held that the NRA “has failed to adequately demonstrate that it will suffer irreparable harm if the [Carry Guard] administrative hearing goes forward.” (p.23) The proceedings in New York State court against the NRA will, therefore, continue undisturbed.
- The NRA had attempted to argue that constitutional issues central to its own case against New York State for selective prosecution, among other issues, could be rendered moot in a state administrative hearing on Carry Guard. The Court called this argument “remote and based on the unsupported speculation that this testimony will occur.” (p.21)
- Perhaps most striking, the Court found that the NRA “appears to be attempting to insert ancillary matters into the hearing in [an] attempt to obtain an injunction and delay the enforcement hearing.” (p.20). The Court also notes that the NRA is essentially asking to “delay the adjudication of the alleged Insurance Law violations for an indefinite period of time…” (p.15).
- The Court also rejected the NRA’s arguments that findings in the state administrative hearing that the NRA violated New York State Insurance Law overlaps at all with the NRA’s speech-based retaliation claims against New York State. (p.18-19) Please note, the majority of the NRA’s affirmative case against New York has been dismissed.
New York State DFS’ civil charges follow years of investigations into the NRA’s insurance program. In 2017, DFS began investigating the NRA after Everytown conducted and shared an investigation into the NRA’s Carry Guard program.
This is far from the only legal proceeding facing the NRA. The NRA is facing a class action lawsuit, locked in litigation with former president Oliver North, under investigation by the U.S. Senate and attorneys general in New York and DC, and locked in various lawsuits with former business partner Ackerman McQueen.