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New York Gov. Cuomo's actions threaten the very existence of the NRA, lawsuit claims

The National Rifle Association claims in a lawsuit that the state of New York has illegally impeded the organization's ability to obtain insurance. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A National Rifle Association lawsuit claims the organization's ability to exist is in peril due to the actions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state of New York, according to the New York Post.

The NRA sued Cuomo and New York in May, and new documents from a July filing highlight the financial issues the gun advocacy group is dealing with as a result of New York's crack down on NRA insurers.

"Insurance coverage is necessary for the NRA to continue its existence," the court filing said. "[Without it] the NRA cannot maintain its physical premises, convene offsite meetings and events, operate educational programs .. or hold rallies, conventions and assemblies."

What is the lawsuit about?

The NRA is suing New York after the state fined the organization's insurance broker, Lockton Cos., which marketed the NRA's "Carry Guard" insurance to gun owners. The state says Carry Guard coverage is illegal because "New York state law prohibits insurance coverage to defense costs arising out of a crime."

According the NRA, the New York Department of Financial Services conspired with Cuomo to pressure insurers and banks into severing ties with the NRA. As a result, the NRA can't get the liability insurance it needs to hold events or operate NRATV, the organization's media operation.

"Our client is suffering setbacks with respect to the availability of insurance and banking services -- as a result of a political and discriminatory campaign meant to coerce financial institutions to refrain from doing business with the NRA," said NRA lawyer William Brewer III in a statement. "The actions of the defendants are a blatant attack on the First Amendment rights of our organization."

Cuomo's defense

Cuomo said the state will seek the dismissal of the lawsuit, and that they "will not be intimidated by the NRA's frivolous lawsuit to advance its dangerous gun-peddling agenda."

"Donald Trump and Washington, D.C. may be bought and paid for by the NRA, but in New York we are listening to the voices of people across the nation calling for action to keep our communities safe," Cuomo said in a statement. "While the NRA tries to play the victim, New York stands with the real victims -- the thousands of people whose lives are cut short by gun violence every year."

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