Lankford Defends First Amendment Rights of Gun Groups

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Ted Budd (R-NC) and Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC) have filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court in NRA v. Vullo.

The brief urges the Court to stop the State of New York from abusing its regulatory power to impose financial blacklists on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and any other advocacy organization purely based on their personal beliefs.

In 2018, Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of the State of New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued formal guidance to every bank and insurance company in the state urging them to “sever their ties” with the NRA.  She also promised leniency to insurers that stopped doing business with the NRA. Additionally, she announced consent orders with longtime NRA insurers that imposed multimillion dollar fines on these insurers and barred them from engaging in future lawful business partnerships with the NRA.  

Read the full brief here.

“Using state-level regulations to target and blacklist an organization for its beliefs has a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech. The state of New York has found a way to attack both the First Amendment and the Second Amendment of the Constitution at the same time. My colleagues and I urge the Supreme Court to affirm the Constitution,” said Lankford.

“Left-wing New York state officials have attempted to weaponize the state government to punish a political group purely because they believe in Second Amendment rights. This blatantly unconstitutional action fundamentally undermines the right of free speech and equal justice under law. Other states and jurisdictions are no doubt watching. If New York State can financially blacklist a large organization like the NRA, what’s to stop a smaller group in another state from facing the same threat and not having the ability to defend itself. The Constitution’s basic tenets are at stake in this case, and I’m proud to team up with my friend Rep. Hudson to defend the First Amendment right of freedom of expression,” said Budd.

“Using intimidation tactics to pressure financial institutions into severing ties with the NRA is a deliberate attempt to silence and suppress free speech. I’m proud to lead this amicus brief in defense of the NRA and its First Amendment rights, and I won’t stop fighting to stop government agencies from abusing their power to target our constitutionally protected freedoms,” said Hudson said. 

The brief was also signed by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James E. Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Rick Scott (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Thune (R-SD); and Representatives Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL), Mark Alford (R-MO), Brian Babin, D.D.S. (R-TX), James R. Baird (R-IN), Cliff Bentz (R-OR), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Eric Burlison (R-MO), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Ben Cline (R-VA), Andrew S. Clyde (R-GA), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Neal P. Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), Ron Estes (R-KS), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Russell Fry (R-SC), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Bob Good (R-VA), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Sam Graves (R-MO), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Michael Guest (R-MS), Harriet M. Hageman (R-WY), Andy Harris (R-MD), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Ronny L. Jackson (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Nick Langworthy (R-NY), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Morgan Luttrell (R-TX),Tom McClintock (R-CA), Mary Miller (R-IL), Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (R-IA), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Barry Moore (R-AL), Troy Nehls (R-TX), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Andy Ogles (R-TN), August Pfluger (R-TX), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), John Rose (R-TN), Austin Scott (R-GA), Keith Self (R-TX), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), William Timmons (R-SC), Randy K. Weber, Sr. (R-TX), Roger Williams (R-TX), Steve Womack (R-AR).