Chenango Fair Goers Differ On NRA, Agree On Cuomo

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The NRA is suing the Cuomo Administration over a decision to end the sale of liability insurance for gun owners because it’s illegal under New York state laws.

The NRA says it protects gun owners who use their guns in self defense. The NRA calls it “Carry Guard.” Opponents says it’s murder insurance.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

PHOTO BY CELIA CLARKE, WSKG NEWS.

Cuomo’s asking for the case to be dismissed. He’s also calling for other governors to join in banning the insurance.

The governor describes the situation as a straightforward legal issue. He spoke on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered.

“This was an illegal product,” he said. “It was illegal to sell the product. And to the extent that the NRA was profiting from it they were profiting from illegal activities.”

The NRA says they make a lot of money from the policies. They claim they need it to survive. The governor and others are skeptical of that claim.

Residents in rural New York have their own view.

At the Chenango County Fair in Norwich, Shirley Cummings sat with friends at a picnic table having lunch. She doesn’t understand the need for the insurance.

“I don’t agree at all with having insurance if you shoot somebody,” Cummings said. “I am not really for guns at all. I think we have very poor policies on who can get ‘em.”

Sitting across from Cummings, Betty Bytheway agreed. She is not a fan of Cuomo, she thinks he ignores upstate.

“Well, I’m a Democrat,” Bytheway said “but I don’t always agree with him. I think he panders to—,” she sighed, “well, to downstate because that’s who really elects him.”

Elsewhere at the fair, Delmar “Steve” Franklin said Chenango County is gun country. He’s a hunter and doesn’t think the NRA is the problem. He said Cuomo should focus his energy elsewhere.

“What they need more is to put more money toward curing a severe drug problem we have in this state and fixing the mental health problems we have,” Franklin said.

A hearing for the lawsuit is scheduled for September 10.