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NRA to Appeal June 2022 Decision Dismissing Counterclaims Against NYAG

June 11, 2022 – The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) has filed notice that it is appealing the June 2022 decision that dismissed counterclaims against New York Attorney General Letitia James for depriving the Association and its members of their fundamental rights to free speech and association.


The NYAG filed a dissolution lawsuit against the NRA in August 2020, following her campaign declarations in 2018 that she would investigate the NRA if she was elected. She had described the NRA as a “criminal enterprise” and “terrorist organization.” The NYAG assumed public office and, exactly as she promised her supporters, launched an investigation in April 2019, and, approximately a year later, filed a well-publicized lawsuit against the NRA – billed by her as the suit to dissolve the NRA. The NRA filed counterclaims in July 2021, and supplemented its filing in April 2022.


In dismissing the counterclaims on June 10, the NRA believes the Hon. Joel M. Cohen misapprehended the controlling law governing its counterclaims. In dismissing the Association’s claims, Justice Cohen adopted the NYAG’s lawsuit as true – without any discovery. Importantly, Justice Cohen seems to invert the protections of the First Amendment and fails to appreciate the extent to which the NYAG’s motivations fueled her campaign against this 150-year-old membership organization.


“There is an extraordinary public record that the NYAG, as a candidate, vowed to target the Association,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA. “The NRA believes her actions against the Association were premediated – and impermissibly based on the content of the constitutionally protected free speech of the NRA and its members. The evidence reveals there is a direct link between the NYAG’s animus toward the NRA, her investigation, and the resulting harm it has caused. The NRA looks forward to appealing this decision.”


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