New York charges NRA with violating insurance laws, deceiving members

NEW YORK Feb 5 (Reuters) - A New York regulator on Wednesday filed civil charges against the National Rifle Association, accusing the gun rights group of acting as an unlicensed insurance producer and deceiving its members with misleading marketing practices.

New York’s Department of Financial Services accused the NRA of having worked with insurance broker Lockton Companies to offer insurance products such as the NRA-branded “Carry Guard” to the group’s members without a license.

It said the NRA misrepresented to its members that the products were being sold at the lowest possible cost, when in fact the group kept “substantial” royalties, sometimes exceeding 20% of premiums paid.

The regulator is seeking civil fines and other remedies, and scheduled an April 6 hearing at its office.

Spokespeople for the NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lockton was fined $7 million by the New York regulator in May 2018 over its involvement with Carry Guard.

The NRA sued the regulator and Governor Andrew Cuomo the same month, accusing them of illegally trying to pressure banks and insurers to stop doing business with it, in what it called “blacklisting.” (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)