Is the National Rifle Association’s streaming service in danger of going off the air? According to the NRA, it’s a definite possibility.
In a court filing last month, the NRA, according to the New York Law Journal, said it’s been harmed economically by what the gun-rights organization said is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s strategy of convincing banks and insurance companies to stop working with the NRA.
In doing so, the NRA said it’s having a difficult time trying to “fulfill its advocacy objectives,” which include continuing to offer NRA TV. Since the NRA can’t procure media liability insurance, the organization has said it might be forced to shut down NRA TV or some of its print publications.
In May, only a few days after New York fined multiple insurance companies millions of dollars for working with the NRA to offer liability insurance for gun-owners and told those companies they could not sell that kind of insurance in the future, the NRA sued, according to CNN.
The NRA said in its suit that “defendants made it clear to banks and insurers that it is bad business in New York to do business with the NRA” and that the state was engaging in a “blacklisting campaign (that) will continue to damage the NRA and its members.”
Cuomo’s interest in the NRA and the insurance companies who do business with it was reportedly inspired by the Parkland shooting.
NRA TV is its streaming channel where, as we wrote in May, the organization doesn’t hide from the desire to be “an antagonistic arena where gun enthusiasts can gather in one place and shout to each other in an echo chamber.” The channel features NRA spokespeople and conservative commentators who can rip the mainstream media and call them crybabies, defend 3D-printed guns, and still bash Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
NRA TV also produces content that brings together female gun owners and programs that highlight the history of guns.
Overall, it’s been a terrible month for the organization’s public relations. Marina Butina, the accused Russian spy who was arrested and indicted for conspiracy last month, is an NRA member, and now the organization’s alleged ties with Russia and how that might have played a role in the 2016 election have come under intense scrutiny.
Though the NRA rigorously defends itself on just about any gun-related manner, it’s been largely silent about Butina or about the possibility of Russians infiltrating the NRA to affect U.S. elections.
In this lawsuit, the NRA also is worried that, without insurance, it “cannot maintain its physical premises” or “convene off-site meetings and events.”
“[New York’s] concerted efforts to stifle the NRA’s freedom of speech and to retaliate against the NRA based on its viewpoints are causing other insurance, banking, and financial institutions doing business with the NRA … to rethink their mutually beneficial business relationships with the NRA for fear of monetary sanctions or expensive public investigations,” the complaint reads, according to the Trace.