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In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, gun shop owner Tiffany Teasdale holds a semi-automatic rifle at a shop in Lynnwood, Washington.
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In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, gun shop owner Tiffany Teasdale holds a semi-automatic rifle at a shop in Lynnwood, Washington.
Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

NRA sells insurance to protect 'people who have committed criminal acts,' says WA state

Washington state is banning certain National Rifle Association insurance policies.

The NRA promotes insurance plans that cover legal fees for gun owners involved in a shooting. They are marketed as protecting firearm owners who use their gun in self defense, but also include supplementary benefits such as bail payments, criminal defense legal retainer fees, and firearm replacement.

The insurance plans are illegal under Washington state law according to state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. He's banning firearm liability plans in Washington. He says "what they are doing is insuring people who have committed criminal acts and Washington state law is very specific as says that's an illegal act to insure a criminal activity."

811 people have bought the policies in Washington since 2017, and since then about 200 have already dropped the coverage.

Commissioner Kreidler plans to fine Illinois Union Insurance and Lockton Affinity, which sell the plans for the NRA, unless the companies request a hearing.

A spokesperson for Lockton Affinity says they have received the state's letter. Lockton Affinity says it "has notified the NRA that it will discontinue providing brokerage services for NRA-endorsed insurance programs", but has not said when.

Kreidler says people concerned about liability can still get coverage under homeowner's insurance. He says "as the homeowner you're going to have coverage for liability as long as you're acting within the tenets of the law." But the firearm liability plans backed by the NRA are offering coverage even for illegal activity, according to Kreidler's office.

The NRA has not responded to a request for comment.

New York also banned the NRA's firearm liability insurance, in May 2018.

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