The NRA Is in Big Trouble, and Parkland Teen Activists Could Be the Reason
The National Rifle Association is apparently in major financial trouble. Rolling Stone obtained legal documents filed by the NRA against the state of New York, which argue that the powerful gun-rights lobby has been losing millions of dollars as a result of new restrictions in the state. These new regulations, which restrict some NRA activities in New York, were in part prompted by youth anti-gun violence activism following the tragic and fatal shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
After several school shootings made national headlines this winter and spring, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and state financial regulators revoked the NRA’s general liability insurance policy and are reportedly on the brink of denying the group’s access to basic banking services. Now, the more than century-old, highly conservative pro-gun organization says it’s in danger of shutting down and is suing Cuomo and others.
The restrictions have been so financially catastrophic, the NRA says, that the organization may soon cease to exist in its current form. The NRA is seeking an injunction to stop the state government from regulating its operations.
According to the court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, the NRA says that the loss of its branded liability insurance, Carry Guard, has dealt a particularly heavy blow to its cash flow.
“The NRA’s inability to obtain insurance in connection with media liability raises risks that are especially acute; if insurers remain afraid to transact with the NRA, there is a substantial risk that NRATV will be forced to cease operating,” the court document filed late last month reads.
However, it would seem that at least some of the NRA’s dire financial situation is due to its own poor budgeting. Rolling Stone also reports that the non-profit overspent its budget to the tune of $46,000 in 2016.
So where do the teen anti-gun activists fit in, you ask? Following the massacre in Parkland in February, youth activists carried out several massive protests against the NRA and GOP lawmakers who are staunchly opposed to gun reform (and who receive campaign funding from the NRA). As Rolling Stone reports, both state financial regulators and governor Cuomo referenced the young activists’ appeals post-Parkland at the time they implemented the regulations the NRA says is costing them.
And speaking of the Parkland kids: News of the NRA’s financial woes comes just ahead of an anti-NRA march scheduled for this weekend. In another of a series of ongoing anti-gun and anti-violence demonstrations in the wake of the Parkland shooting, Stoneman Douglas High School students and other activists will protest outside the NRA headquarters in Virginia on Saturday. Dubbed the “National March on the NRA,” the protest will be led by Parkland teens and other survivors of gun violence. Marches are planned in several other locations around the country, where protesters will call for lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws.
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(Photos via Zach Gibson + Larry French / Getty Images)