Legal Battle with Business Partner Cites NRA’s Rabid Tone

A lawsuit between the gun group and an insurance broker claims that the NRA’s “overtly political and inflammatory approach” and “provocative public stances” led to heightened government scrutiny that spoiled a lucrative source of income.

A contentious lawsuit between the National Rifle Association and an insurance broker, the Lockton Companies, offers a look inside the gun organization’s financial woes, reports The Trace. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars each year to keep the NRA’s enormous operation going, and the gun group has been creative about tapping new pots of revenue. One example is insurance, including Carry Guard, through which gun owners could seek reimbursement for legal costs arising from self-defense shootings. This spring, regulators in New York declared the product unlawful, and the NRA and Lockton are engaged in a related breach-of-contract lawsuit concerning Lockton’s decision to sever ties with the gun group. The NRA claims Lockton failed the gun group, which trusted the broker not to run afoul of local laws when devising and marketing insurance.

Lockton argues that the NRA brought the troubles on itself, by amping up its rhetoric to the point of radioactivity. “The NRA’s own overtly political and inflammatory approach” to marketing, “as well as its provocative public stances, have resulted in a shift in the enforcement priorities of insurance regulators and heightened scrutiny,” Lockton said in a counterclaim. It said the NRA’s Carry Guard marketing plan was “designed to maximize political controversy in the United States and thereby increase NRA membership and sales of insurance coverage, from which the NRA derived revenues.” In May, Lockton signed a consent agreement with New York, paying a $7 million fine and promising not to participate in Carry Guard or promote any other NRA insurance products in the state.