Funding Lawsuits by Tom Reynolds
The unconstitutional laws enacted by Democrat legislatures from coast-to-coast have led to numerous lawsuits against them by 2A organizations. Always wanting to be the leader in unconstitutional activities involving firearms, Governor Hochul, the NY Legislatures and NY Attorney General Letitia James have enacted laws or defended many of the resultant lawsuits.
New Mexico’s Attorney General refused to defend his governor’s unconstitutional executive order which, effectively, suspended the 2nd Amendment. No such danger of ethics superseding politics from NY’s Attorney General Letitia James.
When James defends an unconstitutional law, she does so on the bottomless taxpayers’ dime. But those that oppose these laws must finance them out-of-pocket and that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars. Knowing this, James appeals all decisions to higher courts, running up the lawyer’s fees and hoping to bankrupt her opponents before the Constitution triumphs.
SCOPE is not big enough to bring or finance these lawsuits on our own, but we have done something very unusual for not-for-profit (NFP) organizations; we have fund-raised for and contributed to other NFP organizations in support of their lawsuits.
SCOPE did a fund raiser for GOA-NY’s lawsuits earlier this year. This resulted in contributions to GOA-NY of:
SCOPE Legal Defense Fund $3,000
Steuben County SCOPE $2,000
Allegany County SCOPE $2,000
Gary Zielinski $500
Genesee County SCOPE $2,000
SCOPE members $5,370 $14,870
As of Feb. 2023 members gifted directly to GOA $1,550
Any money we receive to fund lawsuits is kept separate in what is called the Legal Defense Fund (LDF). As well as member contributions, money has come from fund raisers at both the state SCOPE and the SCOPE chapter levels.
Cayuga County SCOPE contributed $2,000 to LDF in August 2022.
Jefferson Lewis SCOPE gave $1,000 to LDF in 2015
Steuben County is doing a firearm raffle where net proceeds go to support lawsuits
Some chapters have contributed directly to these other organizations’ lawsuits:
Monroe County SCOPE gave two checks each for $500 in 2022 directly to GOA-NY.
Monroe County gave $1,000 directly to GOA-NY at their November meeting
Cayuga County SCOPE: sent $100 to Virginia Gun Rights Group;
$500 to Second Amendment Foundation;
$500 to Firearms Policy Coalition;
$1,000 to NYS Firearms Association;
$500 to Second Amendment Foundation
Currently, SCOPE’s Board of Directors is developing procedures to formalize the evaluation of requests for donations since we fully expect many more lawsuits and, since our pocket is not bottomless, we want to get the most bang-for-the-buck.
SCOPE may be a relatively small organization when compared to the NRA but with our chapters and the state SCOPE working together, we can make a difference.