A feud between New York's governor and the National Rifle Association is escalating, with Governor Andrew Cuomo saying it's "too bad" the NRA could be in financial trouble because his state pressured financial institutions to cut ties with the gun group.
"Too bad. You violated the law," Cuomo told CNN, while also adding that "it's not a defense to say, 'Well, I was committing illegal activity, but I was making money from it, and now I'm upset that I lost the revenue.'"
In an amended version of a federal lawsuit filed in May, the NRA claims it lost insurance coverage after the state's enforcement actions against companies underwriting an NRA-branded insurance program called "Carry Guard," which provides liability insurance for policyholders involved in shooting incidents.
The lawsuit said the Cuomo administration was persuading other insurers to avoid doing business with the NRA. But Cuomo countered that Carry Guard is "designed for people who carry weapons, and the insurance policy essentially insured them for intentional bad acts, intentional wrongdoing."
Cuomo said he sent a letter to other governors Monday, urging them to end the sale and marketing of the Carry Guard program in their states. "And if they think New York hurt their pocketbook, let's see what happens when the other states also join in," Cuomo told National Public Radio.
Cuomo also told CNN that he pleads "guilty" to accusations that he has long opposed the gun group.
"I believe the NRA represents an extremist group. I believe they've been counterproductive for gun owners in this country. I believe their politics suit them to stop any commonsense gun reform," he continued.
The lawsuit asks the court to have the Cuomo administration stop its practices against the NRA, claiming that the policies have affected its finances to the point that it can't maintain its offices, operate educational programs, or hold rallies and other political events.