What To Know Today
NRA to pay $2.5 million settlement with New York regulators over deceptive insurance practices. The settlement comes out of civil charges the state filed in February alleging that the National Rifle Association illegally sold insurance products and improperly marketed them to its members. In Wednesday’s announcement, the gun group also agreed to not sell insurance in the state for five years. At the heart of the state’s three-year investigation was Carry Guard, an NRA insurance program that offered gun owners reimbursement of up to $1 million for civil cases, and as much as $150,000 for criminal cases, after shooting another person and claiming self-defense. Although New York law prohibits plans like these, the NRA had sold 680 policies in the state since 2017. (Carry Guard was discontinued in 2019 after a public outcry and probes in several states.) The settlement doesn’t require the NRA to admit any wrongdoing. Three insurance companies have already settled with the New York Department of Financial Services for their role in selling and underwriting the plans, with Lockton Affinity paying $7 million, Lloyd’s paying $5 million, and Chubb paying $1.3 million. — Kevin T. Dugan, Trace contributor.
Gun show organizer sues Virginia AG over COVID-19 rules. Earlier this week, the promoter of The Nations Gun Show — a three-day show in Chantilly, Virginia, scheduled to start on November 20 — and two pro-gun rights plaintiffs sued the state for an exemption from new lockdown restrictions that limit public gatherings. Under the new rules, organizers said it would be impossible to hold the event, which is expecting to draw as many as 25,000 people. The suit adds that the pandemic restrictions violate their gun rights. On Wednesday, Attorney General Mark Herring replied in state court, arguing that the lawsuit exhibited a “callous disregard for the public-health consequences.” He said later, “This has the potential to become a superspreader event and could lead to hundreds if not thousands of Virginians getting sick.” A hearing is scheduled for later today.
Another person was shot over coronavirus restrictions. A 67-year-old man wounded a 58-year-old man after the victim had asked two women in an Ohio supermarket to wear masks. Police say the shoppers called the gunman to the scene, where he opened fire. The shooter was later arrested. We’ve spotted at least 16 similar shootings, leaving at least two people dead and 11 people wounded. You can find our updated tracker of coronavirus restriction-related violence here.
QAnon-linked woman arrested in the death of a fellow conspiracy theorist. The Kentucky resident allegedly shot a self-described legal expert who was said to be helping her regain custody of her children. Last year, the FBI cited QAnon — a pro-Trump conspiracy theory that believes a cabal of powerful elites are kidnapping children — as a potential source for domestic terrorism. The movement has since been linked to several homicides. The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer offers a surreal deep dive into the case that ended in tragedy — apparently because the perpetrator believed the victim had turned on her.
Sandy Hook families say conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is stalling in defamation suit. Eight families are engaged in a legal battle in Connecticut state court against the host of the conspiracy theorist site InfoWars. Jones previously called the 2012 mass shooting a hoax. His attorneys are trying to prevent the deposition of two InfoWars employees, and this week the families said Jones was attempting to take the case to federal court as a stalling tactic. “Alex Jones is terrified that the depositions will reveal the truth about him and his business practices,” an attorney for the families said. From the archives: In 2015, we profiled one of the many parents of mass shooting victims who have been harassed by hoaxers.
~$1 million — the NRA’s outlay supporting the Republican candidates in two U.S. Senate run-offs in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate — all of it since November 15. Up until Election Day, the gun group spent just over $7 million on congressional races in the 2020 cycle. [The Trace]