The highest court in the United States announced on Friday that it will review a case brought by the National Rifle Association regarding statements made by a former New York government official. The official had encouraged insurance companies and banks to sever ties with organizations that promote guns following a mass shooting at a school in 2018..
In the beginning of the upcoming year, the supreme court will listen to discussions regarding the NRA’s appeal. The appeal alleges that Maria Vullo, the former superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, infringed upon the group’s First Amendment freedoms with her statements.
Following the tragic shooting in February 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 lives were lost, Vullo publicly voiced her opposition to gun violence. She released “guidance letters” to companies and made a press statement urging banks and insurance companies in New York to take into account the potential harm to their reputation by conducting business with the NRA or other gun organizations.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), located in Fairfax, Virginia, filed a lawsuit against Vullo following the termination of partnerships and business transactions with the organization. The appeals court in New York dismissed the NRA’s arguments, stating that Vullo had acted with integrity and within the scope of her duties.
At the conclusion of 2018, three insurance companies, including Lloyd’s of London, reached consent agreements with the state, acknowledging that certain insurance programs endorsed by the NRA were in violation of New York insurance regulations. As a result, they have collectively agreed to pay fines exceeding $13 million.
The agreements were made after a government probe into the legality of insurance plans endorsed by the NRA, which provided coverage for damages from firearms, even in cases where the policyholder deliberately caused harm to someone.
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