A recent lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association against the state of New York is an example of why the fight to keep and bear arms has to be won at the state level and in unorthodox ways.

The NRA filed the lawsuit claiming New York Governor Andrew Cuomo illegally tried to force financial companies from doing business with the organization. For example, the NRA’s insurance provider dropped coverage in February. According to the NRA, “nearly every carrier has indicated that it fears transacting with” them. As a result, the gun rights group says it will have to shut down its rallies and conventions.

It goes without saying that crippling the NRA financially would be a big victory for gun control activists. And every other political group should fear a similar thing happening to it should it run afoul of corrupt political leaders. However, it also demonstrates that the battle over gun rights must be fought in the states themselves rather than in D.C. All grassroots work in the world that successfully prevents new federal gun control laws in violation of the Second Amendment is no good if the states become hostile to our rights and engage in subterfuge to undermine them.

It also shows that the fight is not merely over gun legislation but also the means by which we protect our right to keep and bear arms through the First Amendment. If gun control activists can’t pass federal laws because we are organized too well, they will hit us at the state level. No doubt gun grabbers want federal legislation that encompasses all 50 states, but they’ve learned that laws in only one state can do the trick. They’re softening up the target before making the final assault.

Another thing this proves is that there is no reward in the long-run for compromising our gun rights. Time and time again, the NRA has backed federal gun control legislation, including the 1980s law prohibiting “undetectable” weapons. This middle ground route clearly has not paid dividends nor soften the blows from their opponents who continue to treat them like a bogeyman.

This attack on the NRA’s finances should be a wake-up call to anyone interested in curbing the federal government. If you don’t secure your rights in your state, they will be lost eventually at the federal level. If the state does not protect your rights, you cannot expect them to be safe for long – from anyone.

When a strategy has been thoroughly tried and failed to deliver, it’s time for a change in tactics.

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