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NEW: Firm at Center of NRA’s Business Woes Tells Gun Group: “You Brought This on Yourselves”

August 8, 2018

In a recent legal filing in its lawsuit against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York state financial regulators, the NRA claimed to be in dire financial straits, blaming an alleged “blacklisting campaign” for supposedly inflicting “tens of millions of dollars in damages” to the NRA. In an amended complaint filed last month, the NRA claimed that it couldn’t access financial services and was facing “irrecoverable loss and irreparable harm,” and that its insurance coverage was in jeopardy, putting the organization’s day-to-day activities at risk.

Now, new reporting shows that Lockton Companies, Inc., the insurance broker that recently dropped the NRA’s controversial Carry Guard insurance program, which New York found to be unlawful earlier this year, said in a June filing that the NRA itself is to blame.

According to a new report by The Trace:

    Lockton, the insurance broker behind the NRA’s Carry Guard program, argued in a court filing that the organization’s “inflammatory marketing” made it an inevitable pariah.

    From Lockton’s suit:
    “[The NRA and its public relations firm Ackerman McQueen] created an inflammatory marketing campaign concerning certain of the NRA-Endorsed Programs, including Carry Guard, designed to maximize political controversy in the United States and thereby increase NRA membership and sales of insurance coverage, from which the NRA derived revenues.

    “As Lockton’s attorneys note, the gun group also spent heavily on digital ads in the week after the Parkland shooting, and saw new memberships and donations spike over the next several months. The complaint cites the NRA’s public claims that it successfully recruited 100,000 new members after the shooting and topped six million members. To some, including Cuomo, the effort created the appearance that the NRA was trying to capitalize on a national tragedy, which only escalated the regulatory scrutiny.”

New York regulators already found that certain insurance policies being sold in New York and marketed by the NRA “violated multiple provisions of” New York law; insurers Lockton Affinity and Chubb Limited then admitted such violations and were fined millions of dollars by New York authorities; and New York regulators said last month they are continuing to investigate the NRA’s role “in the marketing and sale of these illegal policies in New York.” In a recent filing in a related case, the NRA admitted that it is “now involved in state regulatory agency scrutiny in multiple jurisdictions” relating to its insurance activities.

As the NRA’s favorability has tanked, more and more companies have severed ties with the gun lobby. In February, Chubb Limited said that it would stop underwriting the NRA-branded Carry Guard policy. The move came days after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Following the national March for Our Lives and more than 700 sibling marches across the country, and due to the tireless activism of students, gun violence survivors, and Moms Demand Action volunteers, a wave of corporations publicly distanced themselves from the NRA and its dangerous policies. From life insurance carriers to car rental companies and the (former) official NRA credit card company, businesses are standing up in the name of gun safety. Examples include: Budget, Citigroup, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, Hertz, Simplisafe, Symantec, MetLife, and Walmart.


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