BY BRIAN M. KOLB
This past week, New York state Attorney General, Letitia James, with the support of Gov. Cuomo and his administration, filed a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association (NRA), citing it as a civil suit as opposed to a criminal one. According to the attorney general, the intent is to hold the executives accountable for spending mishaps under the guise of acting as a non-profit. But, if we pay attention to party trends, particularly in this state, we know the truth often lies underneath.
This case does not seek justice. It seeks political justification to further hamper the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
I’m all for the state justice department looking to hold bad actors and groups accountable for their failings, but this development is so clearly politically-based I’m surprised the state Supreme Court agreed to hear it at all. Not only is it a politically-motivated attack against a body the Democrat Majority in the state Legislature feels threatened by, but it is a signal to legal, law-abiding gun owners that the state is looking to further strip you of your Second Amendment rights by going after those who give up their time to fight for them.
Our Conference has had several discussions regarding this recent jab at the civil rights of hardworking, law-abiding Americans, and should any form of legislation restricting the liberties or freedoms of citizens come on the Assembly floor for a vote, know that there will be significant pushback from me and my colleagues.
On a final note, I want to make it clear that I’m not saying there can be no conversation regarding the NRA or gun ownership. Nothing is off the table when it comes to debate or discussion. The problem lies with the motivation behind this move, which clearly intends to supersede the voice of the people by robbing them of their advocates. Therein lies the heart of the conflict, and why it needs to be fought against.
Assemblyman Brian Kolb is a Republican representing Canandaigua, Victor, and the Finger Lakes.