- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 2, 2019

Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, told conservative activists on Saturday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “hates” the gun-rights group and vowed to continue pushing back against the state’s treatment of the NRA.

“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hates” the NRA, Mr. LaPierre said at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in suburban Maryland. “If you agree with our positions, the governor of New York… says you have no place in his state.”

The NRA is in an ongoing legal case against the state and argues that New York is trying to discourage companies from doing business with the gun-rights group.

Mr. LaPierre pointed out that the American Civil Liberties Union has supported the NRA in the case, which a federal judge in November said could proceed.

“For NRA, the freedom of speech is as essential as any other liberty,” Mr. LaPierre said. “No public official can weaponize the power of government to attack organizations simply because they have a different political point of view.”



New York also moved last year to outlaw the NRA’s gun liability insurance program, and other states like California and Washington have made moves in that area since then.

“If the NRA goes bankrupt because of the State of New York, they’ll be in my thoughts and prayers,” Mr. Cuomo said last year.

Democrats and gun control advocates say the public response to last year’s Parkland, Fla. school shooting and the results of the 2018 midterms show that the NRA’s influence is waning.

But Mr. LaPierre said his group has grown to almost 5.5 million members, “the most in our history.”

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