Maria Vullo
Former New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo (courtesy
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In February 2018, the Parkland, Florida, school shooting happened — killing 17 high school students and school staff. After this shooting, DFS issued a “guidance,” signed by [former New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Maria] Vullo, which encouraged insurers to “continue evaluating and managing their risks, including reputational risks, that may arise from their dealings with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations.”

To be clear, this guidance did not explicitly threaten to take any action against insurers who continued to do lawful business with the NRA. But that does not change the fact that DFS, an agency whose responsibilities include law enforcement, and that had recently brought a $13 million enforcement action against insurance companies that did illegal business with the NRA, was now suggesting that those same companies might face consequences if they did other, legal business with the NRA.

This guidance, and similar post-Parkland communications between DFS and the insurance industry, do potentially violate the First Amendment. While the Constitution permits a government official to ask any company to stop doing business with the NRA, it does not typically permit the government to coerce private businesses into halting lawful business with an advocacy group. And DFS’s guidance, which was issued so soon after DFS opened its Carry Guard investigation, looks suspiciously like coercion.

Now this case is before a Supreme Court that is dominated by Republican appointees, and that has a history of handing down recklessly broad decisions benefiting gun rights organizations. …

The facts of Vullo aren’t quite as egregious as those in Bantam Books [v. Sullivan]. DFS’s guidance does not mention the possibility of any kind of enforcement action against an insurer who continues to work with the NRA. And there’s no indication that DFS sent an armed police officer to New York insurance companies to check in on whether they had, in fact, dropped their business with the NRA.

Even so, the guidance does raise serious First Amendment concerns. Imagine, for example, that a police officer arrested you for shoplifting — or some other crime that you legitimately did commit, and that a police officer legitimately may arrest you for committing. Then imagine that this same police officer shows up at your workplace a few months later and pressures you to end your relationship with another company. Would you feel free to refuse? Or would you think that this officer, who so recently placed you under arrest, was implicitly threatening to do so again?

That’s basically what happened in Vullo. DFS brought a completely legitimate enforcement action against three insurance companies, arising out of those companies’ decision to administer or underwrite an insurance product that no sensible government would allow to exist. Then, months later, the same agency sent a guidance to all New York insurers — including these same three companies — informing them that DFS “encourages regulated institutions to review any relationships they have with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations, and to take prompt actions to managing these risks and promote public health and safety.”

It’s not hard to read that guidance as a coercive attempt to punish the NRA because New York’s government disagrees with the NRA’s political advocacy in favor of looser gun laws.

— Ian Millhiser in A boneheaded state official may have just handed the NRA a big Supreme Court victory

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  1. Today is the Supreme Court oral arguments in the ‘US v. Rahimi’ case, concerning domestic-violence restraining orders.

    I hope the esteemed LKB can offer some insight on how he thought the line of questioning went…

      • Poor widdle ding-bat deb, all butt-hurt over his brutal slap-down of your stupid ‘argument’.

        Suck on it… 🙂

      • W­o­r­k­i­n­g o­n­l­i­n­e b­r­i­n­g­s i­n $­2­8­5 d­o­l­l­a­r­s a­n h­o­u­r f­o­r m­e. M­y b­e­s­t b­u­d­d­y s­h­o­w­s m­e h­o­w t­o d­o t­h­i­s a­n­d m­a­k­e­s $­2­9,0­0­0 a m­o­n­t­h d­o­i­n­g i­t, b­u­t I n­e­v­e­r r­e­a­l­i­z­e­d i­t w­a­s r­e­a­l, v­i­s­i­t t­h­e st03 f­o­l­l­o­w­i­n­g l­i­n­k t­o h­a­v­e.

        A l­o­o­k a­t i­t—————————–>>>

  2. I think this whole gun control mess is the result of allowing women to vote. I mean, just look at the bundle of nerves and emotions pictured at the top of the page.

    • I drove my sister in law crazy with this idea.
      She countered with “men cause all the violence, we’ll just keep men out of our country.”
      She’s a known simp for sad immigrant stories.
      When I brought up the poor immigrants and marginalized peoples she said is typical dissonance fashion “well, they need help. Of course we’ll let them in.”
      I knew she’d say this so during her response I was bringing up a barrage of wonderful diversity stories like bombs and grenades in Sweden, years long grooming and gang-raping in Germany and England, no-go zones in France and Paris riots, etc…

      All inflicted upon the local population by poor, marginalized immigrants whom they just wanted to help.

      She’s not coming to Thanksgiving this year. Women and by extension plastics poisoned, endocrine disrupted, estrogenized men

      • How many rooms, beds, couches, and blankets does she have in her residence? How many illegal immigrants is she personally housing and caring for? Does she only want to feel good about it without taking any personal responsibility? How much does she really care about them?

        Would she borrow money to finance housing for the world’s poor? That’s what we’re doing. We’re borrowing every cent we’re spending, during a period of high inflation and higher interest rates. Does she want her children’s teachers being distracted with trying to communicate with children who don’t speak English?

        It was always a lie that allowing the world’s poor to enter this country would make us richer. If that were the case, then why didn’t they make their countries richer? The truth is, it makes us poorer. But it makes a select few powerful and wealthy. That’s the point. Making the rest of us poorer is icing on our dear leaders’ cake.

        • “How many rooms, beds, couches, and blankets does she have in her residence? How many illegal immigrants is she personally housing and caring for?”

          I really pissed-off a rather well-off home owner in a large city who was complaining about homelessness.

          He didn’t appreciate my suggestion that the home owners with back yards (like him) ought to be required to allow a homeless person in a tent to stay there, since that space wasn’t being used for anything but a place for his yap dog to crap.

          He really got bent out of shape by my suggestion, even more so when I asked him where his compassion was for the less fortunate.

          (I’m not a very nice person to hypocritical hard Leftist-Fascists… 😉 )

        • “If that were the case, then why didn’t they make their countries richer? The truth is, it makes us poorer.”

          That’s their goal, ‘equity’. No one has any more than anyone else. That’s what they want, for the US to be drastically-poorer, that’s their idea of ‘economic justice’.

          One thing we have to hit back hard on is this ‘equity’ bullshit. It has nothing to do with equality, but it sounds so similar, people will agree with it. Big mistake… 🙁

  3. It’s always about power. The NRA isn’t the enemy because they’re in favor of “looser gun laws.” That’s a distraction. The NRA is the enemy because they became an effective Republican donor machine.

  4. 1a, 2a etc. miner says it himself in true fascist fashion. Rights have limits. As long as he’s on the side setting the limits.

    When scotus did not go his way on abortion he screamed about limiting rights.

      • Always remember, miner. You are comfortable with limiting rights. Even yours can be limited. You’ve spent years here advocating for limits.

        This is what happens when you abandon freedom. It bites back.

      • Miner is a charter member of the politburo and aspiring to be master of the soon to be established gulags. He wants to man the ovens.

      • Minor, stay in your mommy’s basement and keep on sponging off of her SSI. Because you will never be anything more than a basement troll. Out in the real world, someone would stomp the life out of you. Then do CPR on you, just for the privilege of stomping the life out of you again.

    • “Vox is infested with communists who hate the Constitution.”

      It’s good to keep up on what the opposition is thinking, that’s why they report it here…

  5. There are many here on TTAG and at other media sites. Who say Your 1st amendment right does not exist outside a church.

    But the people who say that, support the kkk burning crosses on the private property of a black person. They also support the national s0cialist marching in holocaust neighborhoods. Yelling “they are here to finish what Hitler started.”

    That is a first amendment right. they say.

    • Burning crosses on a black family’s lawn is one thing, yelling in public, banners, and marching are another, as long as no immediate threats of violence are uttered. The first is a crime, the rest are protected speech. The Supreme Court said so in the American Nazi Party vs. Skokie case, where it held that the Nazis has a right to a permit to march in Skokie, irrespective of the fact that holocaust survivors live there.

      This bright line though is being attacked by Democrats, who claim that speech they disagree with is “hate speech.” Yesterday, a school principal and a bunch of parents were up in arms because someone left a sign on school grounds saying: “Stop White Hate.” This is hate speech, supposedly, just as “All lives Matter” is hate speech, though for the life of me I do not know why, but am quite certain it falls within the scope of the First Amendment. At least here, but not in England and increasingly so in Canada. In England, it is a crime to read the Bible out loud across the street from an abortion clinic, to rad a war speech by Churchill on the steps of Parliament, and increasingly even to criticize the government. Do we want that here? I for one most certainly do not!

      • Tell me why is it illegal and you will be arrested peacefully protesting at an abortion clinic??? So christians have no civil rights???

        But you can protest at a military base or at recruiting offices. And you will not be arrested.

        You are making excuses. I’ve noticed just how animated the so called 1st amendment crowd gets. When talking about American flag burning. But they are quite as a church mouse. When it comes to burning a rainbow flags.

        They are insincere, they are not serious people. They have never been defenders of the bill of rights.

        And do I need to talk about the Christians who were told to stay home and not go to church? But hom0sexuals and BLM were allowed to protest???
        Some arrested and charged. Many give parking tickets at their church by state police.

        • The N@zis are a distraction used by the libertarians liberals and the left. A 40 year old case?? The three L’s favorite distraction to use.
          They need to up date their rhetoric. Read the Twitter files.

        • The ACLU has NEVER supported the 1st amendment. Read, “When Justice Went to War.” And read “Liberal fascism.”

        • Why is it free speech when someone burns the American flag but is a hate crime when someone burns a LBGTXYZ flag?

        • Ironically, the ACLU is supporting Trump against the gag order put in place by the judge in the fraud trial. They say it is a violation of his 1st Amendment Rights.

    • Well it is owned by Comcast/NBC/Universal so not too far beyond expectations. Off topic but how is availability of first aid training beyond basic first aid/cpr/stop the bleed out your way?

      • The AMERICAN RED CROSS offers a BLS course. I just took the ARC’s Basic First Aid Course with CPR for Adults/Infants. In my line of work, it is not a bad idea to be ARC certifed.

    • I’m more interested in this bit of information:

      “a $13 million enforcement action against insurance companies that did illegal business with the NRA“

      Just exactly what sort of illegal business was the national rifle association involved in?

      Even the title of this article provokes questions:

      “Vox Writer More Disturbed by Possibility of NRA Court Victory Than the Violation of Its 1st Amendment Rights“

      “It’s first amendment rights”?

      The Bill of Rights is intended for The People who live in America, you know… humans.

      Not fictional business entities who do not stand the risk of citizenship as We The People do.

      No criminal business entity will ever be imprisoned to do hard time. No business entity could ever serve in any elected office.
      And most importantly, no business entity will ever stand the risk of being drafted and sent to Vietnam.

      So why would anyone grant the liberties reserved to The People to some fictional business endeavor?

      Corporations are not People.

      • After the last few years with what I saw Phizer and others do with the approval of your side your point in that post seems lost to irrelevancy.

      • Miner is an idiot. If ihe cannot understand that a corporate entity enjoys the same rights as an individual as well as the same responsibilities, then you can understand why he majored in gender studies and installs tampon dispensers in men’s restrooms.

      • Well, the Federal Supremes have ruled that corporations are people, so you are behind the times — as usual.

      • MINOR49er. First let me clue you in. A Corporation is under the law a “person.” Whether you or I like it.

        As to this “insurance” thing, is this what you are refering to? Seem the Supreme Court is taking up the case in which one of your anti-gun control freaks illegally restricted the NRA from providing services.

        The First Amendment sure does permit VOX and you other Leftist propaganda outlets to spread their lies and propaganda; but we the PEOPLE have the right to counter their dribble just as I counter yours whenever I detect your on a control freak rant.

        “Criminal businesses?” JBOL! Why don’t you name them? How about the Clinton Foundation?

  6. I don’t know why I bother, but I’ll try: did ANY of you actually read the full article? It’s actually very good. It’s a searing condemnation of the stupidity of a government official (pictured at the top of this article) who tried to bully and coerce insurance companies to not do any business with the NRA.

    Yes, the writer thinks the NRA is “bad”. But that has almost nothing to do with the article. The only thing I have a major issue with is where the Vox writer says that Carry Guard insurance protected the insured “even if they had criminal intent”. I don’t remember that ever being brought up before, and have a hard time fathoming how that could be true.

    I would wager that 95% of the responses to this TTAG article didn’t even look at the Vox article, or even read the TTAG article, they just saw the headline, and then looked at the picture, and then posted their esteemed “opinion” on it. And the picture isn’t even of the person who wrote the article. Sigh.

      • Nice, you’re one of the 5%. I notice you’re also not one of those who immediately spouted off; I daresay that isn’t a coincidence, and even if you disagree with my take 100%, at least you’re doing so from an informed opinion instead of kneejerk reactionism.

        Upon further research, it appears that the “insurance for an intentional criminal act” bit pertains to when someone is arrested for using their firearm in a legal self defense scenario. If the state doesn’t believe your self-defense claim, they will charge you with a criminal act, and because they’ve charged you with a criminal act, they say you had criminal intent, and therefore the state believes nobody can insure you for that. So they sued Carry Guard out of existence.

        Which is patently insane. That’s a violation of the entire concept of “innocent until proven guilty”.

        • Broken clock can be right twice a day, doesn’t mean I will trust it to give me the time of day. With that said NY has a history of being egregious even for most lefties so we serve as the extreme it could never happen here so ignore us as we do the same thing but more slowly example.

        • Ding! Plus there are any number of insurers/groups who provide the same or similar coverage all over the country (except in Washington, where they outlawed “murder insurance.” The fact is that the writer and NY are totally wrong about the validity of the nature of the coverage, which is not surprising in that other politicians are demanding that gun owners carry liability insurance with limits of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence. (San Jose is one place.) These idiots seem to think that this insurance will relieve the cost of funding medical care for crime victims, failing to recognize that such insurance will pay nothing if the perpetrator committed an intentional wrong, which is in fact the vast number of shootings in the United States, which is, as you said, also true for the various forms of carry coverage. In fact, carry coverage, being liability coverage, defends the insured from claims including civil and criminal claims in a self defense scenario. A HO policy will defend from civil actions for the same thing.

          The NRA program had another issue. The coverage was through a Surplus Lines carrier, for which the broker must have a Surplus Lines license and satisfy other conditions. The NRA’s broker did not have such a license.

    • I read it also, and then scrolled down to offer the following comment.

      I think Millhiser’s use of the words “reckless” and “broad” was a Freudian slip.

  7. This is what happens when the disarming is near complete.

    Dacidiot and M49Rs wet dream…

    “Australian Labor Party wants to require smart TVs to show government-funded news ahead of other sources on home screen..”

    Effing 1984 was supposed to be a WARNING!

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