2nd Circuit rejects NRA's claim of First Amendment violation against ex-NY state official
A federal appeals panel on Thursday rejected the National Rifle Association's First Amendment claims against a former New York state official who urged banks and insurance companies to discontinue their association with gun promoting groups after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Maria T. Vullo was within her rights as superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services when she spoke out after the February 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people.
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Brewer III, an attorney for the NRA, said the 2nd Circuit decision "misstates the fact, and offends the First Amendment."
He said the NRA is exploring its options, including a Supreme Court appeal.
Brewer said in a statement that the ruling "endorses a radical idea: that financial regulators can selectively punish businesses to advance ‘public policy,’ including ‘social issues’ such as gun control.
This is a derogation of the First Amendment that should not prevail."
The NRA sued Vullo after multiple entities cut ties or decided not to do business with the organization.
By the end of 2018, three insurance providers, including Lloyd's of London, had entered into consent decrees with the state, agreeing that some NRA-endorsed insurance programs they offered violated New York insurance law.
NRA ENCOURAGES 'REAL SOLUTIONS' TO 'STOP VIOLENCE' AFTER SENATORS REACH BIPARTISAN GUN FRAMEWORK AGREEMENTIn a ruling written by Circuit Judge Denny Chin, a three-judge panel concluded that Vullo's statements did not violate the law.
In a statement released by her lawyer, Vullo said the appeals court had upheld the law.
Her attorney, Andrew G. Celli Jr., said in a statement that the ruling validates the work done by a "superb public servant who did her job with integrity and passion."