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Court Dismisses​ NRA Free Speech Lawsuit

Last week, a federal appeals court ordered the dismissal of a National Rifle Association (NRA) lawsuit accusing a New York regulator of violating the NRA’s First Amendment rights by pressuring banks and insurers to stop doing business with the gun-rights group, reports Reuters.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the NRA failed to prove that Maria Vullo, the former superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), “crossed the line between attempts to convince and attempts to coerce.”

Following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Vullo called for banks and insurers to consider the “reputational risks” of doing business with gun-rights groups. Vullo later fined multiple insurance businesses over $13 million for selling NRA-endorsed products that New York considered illegal, according to Reuters. The insurers dropped the NRA-backed products.

Vullo issued a press release, urging “all insurance companies and banks doing business in New York to join the companies that have already discontinued their arrangements with the NRA, and to take prompt actions to manage these risks and promote public health and safety,” court documents state.

The NRA then sued Vullo, the DFS, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying the state’s actions would deprive the NRA of basic financial services and its ability to advocate for its mission.

A lower court judge dismissed all of the NRA’s claims, except for two free speech claims against Vullo. However, in the latest ruling, the appeals court stated that all claims should be dismissed.

“[E]ven assuming the NRA sufficiently pleaded that Vullo engaged in unconstitutionally threatening or coercive conduct, we conclude that Vullo is nonetheless entitled to qualified immunity because the law was not clearly established and any First Amendment violation would not have been apparent to a reasonable official at the time,” the court concluded. “The Complaint’s factual allegations show that, far from acting irresponsibly, Vullo was doing her job in good faith…Accordingly, even assuming the NRA plausibly alleged a First Amendment violation, Vullo would be protected by qualified immunity in any event,” the court’s opinion stated.

It is possible that the NRA could appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

“The Second Circuit’s decision regarding the NRA’s claims against Ms. Vullo misstates the facts, and offends the First Amendment,” said the NRA’s lawyer, William A. Brewer. He said the NRA is “exploring its options,” including certiorari to the Supreme Court.

  • MJ says:

    Take it to the Supreme Court!! Absolutely! This was a blatant ploy to discredit everything that the NRA stands for!! That the court would dismiss on immunity??!!! Along with her slanderous blackmail perpetuated onto those that would bow down to the attack?! No backbones whatsoever!! I’m more than disgusted! It just shows how biased far too many in places of power are! Now they’ve begun court packing, so I won’t be surprised if they do the same at the Supreme Court! ! However, you MUST fight for yours and our freedoms at every opportunity! This is beyond angering! As are every other attack on our freedom!! Its only going to get worse!

  • John says:

    Of course what would you expect another Democratic communist pedophile protective scumbag Antichrist N.W.O. judge who’s a socialist Pig, of course this black robe fascist Pig would do against Free Speech and our constitution, these demons need to be removed from society and from this country by any and all means possible, this is the root of evil communism just another perverted satanic party of the Democratic fascist N.W.O pedophile Epstein Island vacationing judges.

  • Louis Galmarini says:

    All this legal wrangling. All this money being WASTED. I submit the following:

    The 2nd Amendment was the result of a GOD-GIVEN RIGHT to self-preservation and the continuation of life. It is a by-product, secondary to this right given to every man, woman, and child of the United States of America. There is NO federal or state law, NO County or City ordinance, NO Township bylaw, no company or government ‘policy’, nor door signs or other limitations/barriers of any kind, nor ANY person in ‘authority’, (including local, state, and/or federal officials, [and which also includes the President of the United States]), who/which can infringe upon this right of AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, to own and/or carry ANY type, or amount of weapon(s), anywhere – PERIOD.

    That’s what ‘SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED’ means.

    It is not an implied suggestion. It’s not an inferred advisement. It is a mandated INALIENABLE right, given by God, (NOT government), and inspired to those who conceived, approved, and facilitated the 2nd Amendment. Therefore, according to the LETTER OF THE LAW, MANDATED IN THE CONSTITUTION, it is a CONSTITUTIONALLY ILLEGAL act to deter or deny this GOD-GIVEN right to ANY American citizen.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand this needs to get educated in fundamental Constitutional Law (101)…

    Therefore, if/when I want to procure a firearm, I will procure a firearm. I will NOT need a license. I will NOT need a registration, I will NOT need a permit, and I certainly will NOT need anyone’s permission. If/when they come for me – they better be prepared to die…

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