We have the honor of being part of one of the oldest and most successful civil rights organizations in the world—the National Rifle Association of America.
I know you’re proud of that. I also know you’re proud to carry the NRA torch for freedom every single day, and I know you never back down from the fight to protect our constitutional liberty.
Together, we represent 100 million law-abiding gun owners from every walk of life. We come from every race, gender, profession and political persuasion—all united in the vision of our Founding Fathers who sacrificed so much to gain our American freedoms.
You and your fellow NRA members give so much to preserve that freedom—even in the face of unimaginable attacks against us.
Today, the environment has become more hostile than ever, as opponents launch rogue strategies, engage in unlawful behavior and spew vile rhetoric to attack the very freedoms that define America’s greatness.
Now, as I reported earlier this year, our opponents seek not only to challenge our opinions, but also to inhibit our very right to express them. They have taken extreme measures to interfere with our ability to engage in free speech, to peacefully assemble, and to speak out for the positions we hold dear.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hates the NRA and hates our Second Amendment freedom. And he isn’t shy about it.
He weaponized the New York State banking regulator—the most powerful agency of its kind in the country—to punish and silence your NRA. The governor directed regulators to send letters to all ceos of banks and insurance companies in the state, to pressure them to cease doing business with the NRA.
Think about that. Gov. Cuomo singled out a category of people who should not receive financial services—even checking accounts—simply because he disagrees with our opinion. He doesn’t like your political viewpoint and wants you denied financial services.
He wants the NRA blacklisted!
If Gov. Cuomo got his way pornographers, marijuana dealers, and radical “charities” would be allowed to have bank accounts, collect donations, and obtain insurance in New York—but not the NRA.
But you and I know that restricting free speech is not what we do in this country, so your NRA is fighting back.
It is a fight, literally, for our political life.
America must never become a world in which citizens are vilified and punished simply for expressing our beliefs. Never!
So we took the governor to federal court under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
We told him that his actions reflect pure viewpoint-based discrimination, and he is violating our constitutional rights.
I am pleased to report that we are prevailing in this critically important case.
Gov. Cuomo tried to have our lawsuit dismissed.
He lost. The court held that the NRA deserves its day in court.
Then, the governor tried to prevent the NRA from deposing the former chief banking regulator, Maria Vullo, who was a focal point of the governor’s effort.
He lost again.
Many opinion leaders, legal scholars and community stakeholders agree with the NRA. It is clear that Gov. Cuomo went too far in his crusade against the NRA and its members. Even the American Civil Liberties Union agrees and has joined the NRA in this fight.
However, that doesn’t matter to Gov. Cuomo. He and his supporters will stop at nothing to advance a personal political agenda, even if it is contrary to the most fundamental principles of our country.
In fact, the governor’s chosen candidate for Attorney General vowed to attack the NRA—as a pillar of her campaign platform—before being elected into office.
Did you get that?
Before spending even one day in office, she declared that we—you and me—and all the law-abiding men and women of the NRA—are a “terrorist organization.”
She vowed to conduct a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition to investigate us in the state where the NRA was founded 148 years ago.
A contrived political investigation is not the action of a public servant. This is a rank political vendetta.
That is why we must keep fighting to defend our constitutional rights in what is, perhaps, the most important First Amendment case in U.S. history.
And that is why we must … and we will … continue to speak out and defend the freedoms for which the NRA stands.
My four decades of helping lead our fight for freedom has taught me one thing above all else—with your support and help I know that, together, we can and will win this critical fight to save our NRA.
We will speak out as loudly and boldly as ever. We will stand as united and strongly as ever. And we will fight as hard and unflinchingly as ever.
We will never give up and never surrender one single inch of our Second Amendment freedom!